DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Systemic lupus erythematosus. A rash on the leg of a 45-year-old woman, caused by systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). SLE is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system attacks connective tissue in the skin and internal organs as if it were foreign, causing inflammation. Symptoms include a blotchy red rash on the skin and feverish illness with loss of appetite and joint pain. Inflammation may also affect the kidneys, lungs, heart and brain, sometimes with fatal results. The disease subsides and recurs with varying severity. Corticosteroids and anti- inflammatory drugs may relieve symptoms, but there is no cure.
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