Lupus is a disease that occurs when your body’s immune system attacks your own tissues and organs (autoimmune disease). Inflammation caused by lupus can affect many body systems, including the joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart, and lungs.
Lupus is difficult to diagnose because its symptoms mimic other diseases. The most distinctive symptom of lupus erythematosus is a facial rash that looks like butterfly wings opening on both cheeks, but not many cases of lupus.
Some people are prone to hives caused by infections, certain medications, or even sunlight. Although there is no cure for lupus, treatment can help control symptoms.
No case of lupus is exactly the same. Signs and symptoms may appear suddenly or develop slowly, and may be mild or severe, temporary or permanent. Most people with lupus have mild flare-ups, when signs and symptoms get worse for a while, get better for a while, or go away completely.
The lupus symptoms you experience depend on which body system is affected. The most common symptoms are: