This is only my own personal experience of lupus and all that it entails
I have had a butterfly/malar rash on my face for over 30 years. It is most unusual for it to only be on one side of the cheeks and nose. It is normally spread over the entire area, this is why it is known as a "butterfly" rash, it gives the appearance of wings. The rash actually on the nose gives the appearance of the body of the butterfly.
Mine is there all of the time, but when I am having a flare, then it is the first sign to the doctors that something is wrong, as it gets very red and pronounced. I know too things are really going to be bad for a while when this happens. The only time mine burns is when I am having a lupus flare. By burning I mean my face gets extremely warm, but this is because of the flare. Having said that if you were to go out into the sun, then it would burn terribly, but so would the rest of your exposed skin. I also have very pronounced erthyema on the palms of my hands, which is another lupus rash but not nearly as common as most of the other rashes.
I personally have very, very dry skin and I used very gentle products on it. I don't use soap, I only use moisturisers that contain no additives, or perfumes.
There are many different skin problems in lupus, which vary from person to person. The 'classical' skin problem in lupus is the butterfly rash. This is a red rash, sometimes no more than a mild blush, that occurs across the bridge of the nose and on the cheeks resulting in a distinctive butterfly-like appearance. This type of rash tends to occur in the systemic form of the disease where other organs in the body are also involved. It is often present at the beginning of the disease, helping doctors make the diagnosis. Butterfly rashes tend to come and go depending on how active the underlying lupus is but it does not leave scars as it heals.
Discoid lupus is a type of lupus that tends to be confined to the skin and other organs in the body are not involved. Discoid lupus occurs in patches across the body. These patches tend to be well defined, thickened and scaly, they are slightly red in colour and can itch. The appearance can vary between people and also on different areas of the body on the same person. As the patches heal they tend to leave scars and on darker skins the pigment in the skin can be lost leaving white areas. If discoid lupus occurs on the scalp the hair will be lost as the patches heal leaving permanent bald areas.
Subacute cutaneous lupus is a distinct rash that usually occurs in sun-exposed areas of the body. It starts as scaly patches which increase in size to form circular areas which gradually heal up without leaving scars. This type of lupus falls in-between the systemic form and the discoid form: people with subacute cutaneous lupus often have some of the blood abnormalities found in systemic lupus and frequently joint pains, but they do not usually develop the serious complications that can occur in the systemic disease.
You would not get just a rash if you have lupus. Not all SLE patients in fact have a butterfly/malar rash, but it is a symptom in patients with SLE normally.
Have you in fact seen a rheumatpologist and been tested for lupus? Even if you haven't you must come here and ask any questions that you may have. EVeryone is so helpful and undersdtanding.