DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Lupus rash on the face 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. The butterfly-shaped rash on the cheeks and bridge of this man's nose is also characteristic. SLE can lead to fatal kidney failure. While the trigger, 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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