Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that can affect various parts of the body, including the skin. One of the common symptoms experienced by individuals with lupus is a rash. Lupus rashes can vary in appearance, and their resemblance to other conditions or injuries can sometimes lead to confusion.
Lupus rashes, also known as cutaneous lupus erythematosus, can manifest in different forms, ranging from mild to severe. These rashes are typically triggered by an overactive immune system attacking healthy tissues. Although lupus rashes can resemble other skin conditions, it is important to note that they have distinct characteristics and are usually accompanied by other symptoms of lupus.
Lupus Rash vs. Hickey: A hickey, often referred to as a "love bite," is a mark on the skin caused by excessive suction or kissing, resulting in broken blood vessels beneath the skin's surface. While a hickey is a relatively harmless and temporary skin condition, a lupus rash is associated with an underlying autoimmune disease and may require medical attention. Here are some key points to differentiate between the two:
Appearance: A hickey usually appears as a reddish or purplish mark on the skin, resembling a bruise. It is often localized to the area where the suction or pressure was applied. On the other hand, a lupus rash can vary in appearance, ranging from a butterfly-shaped rash across the cheeks and nose (known as a malar rash) to scaly patches or raised red plaques on different parts of the body.
Duration: A hickey typically lasts for a few days to a couple of weeks before fading away, whereas a lupus rash may persist for longer periods, with flares and remissions depending on the individual's condition.
Sensations: A hickey is usually painless or mildly tender to touch. In contrast, a lupus rash can be accompanied by itching, burning, or sensitivity to sunlight (photosensitivity).
Additional Symptoms: While a hickey is primarily a localized skin mark, lupus rashes often occur alongside other symptoms such as joint pain, fatigue, fever, hair loss, and general malaise. It is crucial to consider the broader context of symptoms when assessing a rash.
Seeking Medical Advice: If you notice a rash that resembles a hickey but persists for an extended period or is accompanied by other concerning symptoms, it is recommended to consult a healthcare professional. They can evaluate your medical history, conduct a physical examination, and perform diagnostic tests to determine the underlying cause of the rash and provide appropriate treatment.
Although a lupus rash and a hickey may share some superficial similarities, they are distinct conditions with different underlying causes and implications. While a hickey is a temporary discoloration caused by physical contact, a lupus rash is a manifestation of an autoimmune disease that requires medical attention. If you have any concerns about your health or the appearance of a rash, it is always advisable to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
***Disclaimer- This is not medical advice.