Types of Lupus

There are four types of lupus:

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is the most common form of lupus and is generally considered more serious than the other three forms. SLE can affect many parts of a person’s body, including kidneys, heart, lungs, brain, blood and skin. Symptoms tend to vary among patients and can change often and suddenly. Lupus can follow an unpredictable pattern of remissions (symptoms improve) and flares (symptoms worsen).

Discoid (Cutaneous)

Discoid is a form of lupus that only affects the skin and causes rashes. These rashes may be anywhere but are usually found on the face, neck and scalp. This type of lupus does not affect any of the internal body organs although 1 in 10 people living with discoid lupus will develop systemic lupus.

Drug-induced Lupus (DIL)

Drug-induced Lupus (DIL) occurs after a person takes certain types of medication. The symptoms are similar to systemic lupus, but they usually disappear when the medicine is stopped. Symptoms are typically gone within six months, however the Antinuclear Antibody (ANA) test (used to help diagnose lupus) may stay positive for years. About 20 percent of the general population will have a positive ANA test.

Neonatal Lupus

In rare cases, the newborn of a mom with lupus or another autoimmune disease may have neonatal lupus. This condition can cause skin rashes, anemia or liver problems. Symptoms usually go away after a few months and don’t cause permanent damage. Some babies with neonatal lupus can be born with a serious heart defect.