Hi everyone. I am new to this board and could use your help.
Brief background on me. I am a 28 year old female (my name is Judi). While pregnant wtih my first daughter, my OB ran an ANA because of some unusual symptoms I was experiencing (palpitations, primarily--I'm still not sure why he did an ANA as that doesn't seem to be a primary symptom of autoimmune disesase)... anyways, that came back high, so he decided to run the anti-phosolipid antibodies. I tested positive for cardiolipin antibodies and subsequently took baby aspirin for the remainder of my pregnancy. I had a healthy baby girl. Later, my primary doctor felt my tests were suspcious and ran ALL of the autoimmune labs. I tested positive for several, to include Anti-dsDNA, Smith AB, cardiolipin again, etc. He referred me to a rheumy. He said you never make a diagnosis based on labs, and since I had no symptoms of lupus, to go about life as normal, assuming I wouldn't likely develop the disease, but to be aware of the symptoms and report to him if I experienced any. That was about 4 years ago. We since moved and none of my doctors currently seem to care about the labs. They said my drs took a shotgun approach and that if you randomly tested the population, you'd likely find that many of them would also test positive without any disease.
Whew, that got wordy. Fast forward to now. I had my third child 3 months ago and have been feeling fine since. About a week ago, however, I developed a rash on my face, across my nose and on both sides of my cheeks, right next to my nose. It feels rough like dry skin and looks very dry and a bit red (not terribly red, but it is noticeable). I just started putting extra lotion on it and didn't think ANYTHING of it until today, it suddenly occured to me that this fits the location of malar rash. Now, I'm freaking out. I'm going to call my pcp on Monday and try to get in to see a rheumy in the area, but was hoping you guys might be able to tell me if this sounds like a malar rash. As I said, it feels just like dry skin patches, doesn't itch, is across my nose and on my inner cheeks (next to my nose), it burns a little when I first put lotion on it (like regular dry skin would).
I have no other outward symptoms at this time. I'm tired, but not more than I think I'd expect to be with a 3 month old baby!
So, does that sound like a lupus rash? And, second, is there any definitive test they can do to tell if this is one? Should I also try to get in with a dermatologist? Who is most likely to be able to tell what this is, the rhuemy or dermatologist?
Thanks So much for any help you might provide. I am VERY nervous about this. I had hoped that I wouldn't ever develop symptoms of lupus.
I have the butterfly rash and have done since I was diagnosed with SLE - over 30 years ago. I must say mine doesn't have raised lumps, sometimes the skin in the area gets a little itchy but I never have my face exposed to the sun, so there isn't a chance that it will get red and angry.
A very informative description is:-
The most classic rash seen in lupus is the malar/butterfly, extending over the cheeks and bridge of nose.
It ranges from a faint blush to a severe eruption with scaling. The rash reflects the angle at which the ultraviolet radiation from the sun hits the skin. The nasolabial folds (where the outer parts of the nose & cheek meet the upper lip) are usually not affected in lupus.
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.
The thing is Judi, if you have any concerns at all you must go back to your doctor.
Obviously I am not diagnosing your rash, as I am not a medical doctor, but I thought this might be of help.
I am not a medical doctor, I only speak from my own experience of the illnesses I discuss here.
Last edited by goldenwings; 08-07-2005 at 07:58 AM.