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How do I Choose the Best Lupus Erythematosus Treatment?

By Alex Paul
Updated May 17, 2024
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The best lupus erythematosus treatment should be designed to reduce the impact of symptoms on everyday life because there is no cure for the disease. If you have discoid lupus erythematosus, which only affects the skin, treatment to reduce the appearance of lesions and stop scarring is important. Those with systematic lupus erythematosus can suffer from problems in the joints, skin, and internal organs; as a result, treatment must be modified to reflect the additional complications. Symptoms of lupus erythematosus vary greatly, so the best treatment plan entirely depends on how the disease affects the individual.

There are two main types of lupus erythematosus. Discoid lupus erythematosus affects the skin, whereas systematic lupus erythematosus commonly causes problems in the joints and sometimes the internal organs. The best lupus erythematosus treatment depends on the type of the condition that has been dianosed. At the moment, there is no known cure for either type of lupus erythematosus, so the aim of treatment is to reduce symptoms and improve a person’s quality of life.

If you suffer from the discoid version of the disease, lupus erythematosus treatment usually focuses on minimizing the appearance of any skin problems that already exist. It’s also important to prevent scarring as much as possible. Some conservative discoid lupus erythematosus treatments include avoiding sunlight as much as possible and stopping smoking. Your doctor may also recommend drugs such as steroids to help control symptoms, although this depends on the severity of the condition.

Systematic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is often more severe because it affects more than just the skin. Symptoms of SLE, however, vary greatly among people. As the condition can affect different parts of the body, the best type of treatment also varies. The goal of treatment is to reduce the effect of symptoms on the patient’s everyday life. For only minor symptoms, lupus erythematosus treatment may not be needed unless the condition is greatly affecting a person's lifestyle.

If you have joint pain from lupus erythematosus, treatment may include taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen. These can reduce muscle and joint pain, although there are potential side effects including bleeding in the stomach. For more severe pain, lupus erythematosus treatment may include steroid tablets for reducing inflammation. Immunosuppressants, which are also sometimes used to treat the disease, reduce the chance of the body damaging itself by controlling the immune system, but also increase the possibility of contracting an infection.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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