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Healthcare providers help people manage cutaneous lupus with lifestyle changes and medications. Your provider may recommend:

  • Avoiding the sun and fluorescent light: Lupus skin lesions are extremely sensitive to natural and artificial light, so you should limit your exposure. Stay inside when the sun is strongest during the day, and wear a wide-brimmed hat, sun-protective clothing and sunscreen when you can’t avoid the sun.
  • Injections: Your provider may use a needle to inject a corticosteroid medication directly into the rash. Steroid injections reduce inflammation. You may need these injections every few weeks.
  • Oral medications: Healthcare providers have used a drug called hydroxychloroquine to treat systemic lupus for many years. It controls your body’s immune response. You may also need other drugs that suppress the immune system, such as methotrexate.
  • Topical medications: Creams, lotions and ointments can reduce inflammation on the skin. You may need to apply these to your skin once or twice a day. Types of topical medications include corticosteroid creams and tacrolimus ointment (Protopic®).

You should see your provider regularly so they can monitor your health and adjust treatment. Since you will need to avoid the sun, your vitamin D levels might drop below normal levels. Your provider may prescribe vitamin D supplements.

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