DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Lupus rash on the cheek of a 35-year-old man. He has systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), one form of the autoimmune disease lupus. In SLE the immune system attacks connective tissue, mainly in the skin, joints and kidneys, as if it were foreign tissue. There are recurring attacks of fever, nausea and tiredness. A butterfly-shaped rash (partially seen here) over the cheeks and bridge of the nose is also characteristic. The disease can lead to fatal kidney failure. While the trigg- er, such as sunlight, a drug or a viral infection, may be known, the disease's underlying cause is not. There is no cure. Treatment includes anti- inflammatory and immunosuppressant drugs.
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