DISCLAIMER: This article is for informational purposes only. If you have any medical concerns, talk to your healthcare provider immediately.
Facial redness is usually not a sign of serious illness, but it can be alarming to experience skin issues that are out of the ordinary. If you have facial redness, it can be because you have an underlying skin condition, irritation or other reasons. Two conditions that can cause facial redness are lupus rash and rosacea.
These two conditions can look alike and it can be hard to tell them apart. However, if you know your symptoms, you may be able to tell them apart. Lupus rash causes a butterfly-shaped rash (lupus malar rash) to appear on your cheeks and the bridge of your nose. This rash is mainly smooth and does not affect other parts of your face. Rosacea, on the other hand, can cause bumps and acne-like blemishes aside from facial redness.
If you want to know if you have lupus or rosacea, you should discuss this with your doctor. Below, this article will talk about some of the differences between the two. We will also talk about other common symptoms of rosacea and lupus, so make sure to read until the end!
What Is Lupus Rash?
Lupus is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation because the immune system attacks your own tissues and organs. Lupus rash is typically a symptom of people who have lupus. It is a butterfly-shaped rash, also called a malar rash, mainly covering the bridge of the cheeks and the nose. Aside from the face, lupus rash can also appear on your body.
Aside from a butterfly rash on the bridge of the nose and cheeks, there are other symptoms that lupus patients develop such as:
– Sensitivity to light
– Kidney issues
– Hair loss
– Mouth sores
– Blood clotting
– Muscle and joint pain due to inflammation
If you are experiencing rashes, lesions on your skin, or hair loss, it could be cutaneous lupus erythematosus (CLE). The other type of lupus, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) does not only affect the skin but your organ system as well.
Causes Of Lupus Rash
The cause of lupus is currently unknown however, inflammation in the body can cause rashes to appear on your face . Other factors that can trigger lupus are:
– Strong sunlight
– Certain medication
– Illness or infection
– Hormonal changes
Lupus Rash Treatment
There is currently no cure for lupus rash but it can be treated. Lupus rash treatment may include topical steroids, corticosteroid injections, or antimalarial medications such as hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil®).
What Is Rosacea?
Rosacea is an inflammatory skin condition that causes the skin to blush or flush. This facial redness is caused by the blood vessels becoming visible on the face. Rosacea is an incurable disease and a long-term condition mainly affecting the face. Aside from visible blood vessels, red rashes can also appear on the affected area.
There are four types of rosacea and each type has different symptoms. Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea can cause persistent redness on the face. This symptom typically comes and goes but can become permanent if not treated.
Papulopustular rosacea are often red and swollen and are often mistaken for acne. This type of rosacea can appear on the cheeks, chin, forehead, and even the scalp.
Phymatous rosacea affects the nose causing the skin to become thick and scarred. This can also cause the affected area to become swollen and discolored.
Ocular rosacea causes a burning and itching sensation in the eyes. This type of rosacea can also cause the eyes to become dry and sensitive.
Causes Of Rosacea
There is no exact cause for rosacea but, there are several factors that can trigger your facial redness and other symptoms. According to the National Rosacea Society, some of the possible causes of rosacea are defects in the immune system, microbes in the skin, or genetics. Rosacea could also be caused by environmental factors such as sun exposure or hot and cold weather. There are also other factors that can trigger rosacea such as drinking alcohol, cosmetic or skincare products, certain foods, and even stress and anxiety .
While rosacea does not have any cure, it can be treated to manage the symptoms and keep them from flaring up. Over-the-counter topical and oral medications and clinical procedures such as lasers, dermabrasions, and chemical peels can help treat rosacea.
How To Tell Rosacea From Lupus Rash
Both lupus rash and rosacea can cause facial redness. Both conditions can also cause a butterfly-shaped rash that covers the bridge of the nose and the cheeks. Rosacea patients typically experience bumps and pimples along with facial redness. Most people with rosacea-prone skin can also experience ocular signs, unlike people with lupus rash.
Can You Have Rosacea And Lupus At The Same Time?
It is possible to get rosacea and lupus together. Since both lupus and rosacea can cause facial redness, it can be hard to distinguish the two. It is best to consult your doctor to see if you have rosacea, lupus rash, or both.
Is Rosacea Related To Lupus?
While it is possible to have both rosacea and lupus rash together, both conditions are not related. Lupus is a complex autoimmune disease that causes your immune system to accidentally attack healthy skin tissues. Rosacea, on the other hand, is an inflammatory skin disease. This is typically triggered by environmental factors, allergens, stress, or extreme temperatures.
Both rosacea and lupus can cause a butterfly-shaped rash to appear on your face which can make it harder to differentiate the two. If you have facial redness, the best course of action to take is to talk to a dermatologist. Doing so can help you assess your condition and give you the best treatment possible.