Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a rheumatic autoimmune disease of unknown cause that affects multiple organs in people of all ages, including children. The presence of auto-antibodies causing cell damage correlates with a varied and extensive problem regarding affected organs. It usually occurs between 20 and 40 years in women and more often in blacks, but can occur in teens. If you feel your child may have Lupus or any other type of disease, seek care from your local primary care doctor in Columbus MS.
Lupus is a chronic disease of unknown cause involving several factors of different types: infectious, hormonal, genetic, chemical and environmental. It has been linked to a virus, like an infectious agent, and it is more common in women (up to 90% in women of childbearing age… ages 12 to 50). The genetic aspect is deduced by increased familial incidence of SLE and the higher frequency (up to 3 times) of SLE in blacks. Some drugs such as procainamide or hydralazine have also been involved in SLE and ultraviolet radiation triggers certain skin lesions as well.
However, it is thought that all these factors could be triggered on a genetically predisposed person, the most important involvement of SLE is the disorder of the regulation of immunity, with the deposition of immune complexes in various organs. The clinical manifestations are varied since the immune complex deposition can occur in any organ. Predominant symptoms such as fatigue, loss of weight and appetite, malaise and unexplained fever are present. Musculoskeletal symptoms occur in up to 95% of patients and include arthralgia (joint pain) that often vary in articulation between intermittent and daily and can affect any joint. Less frequently, arthritis may appear and will mainly affect distal joints without causing deformity thereof. In children, you may see these symptoms come about very quickly.
Skin lesions appear in 80% of children at the onset of the disease. The involvement of the skin is divided into acute cutaneous lupus, sub-acute and chronic. In acute cutaneous lupus, the most characteristic lesion is defined as a redness of the skin on the cheeks and nose. It usually occurs in half of cases, especially after sun exposure. Subacute cutaneous lupus erythematous lesions typically affect people symmetrically (shoulders, chest and arms). Contact your local Primary Care Doctor in Columbus MS or Meet Dr. Skis Kids personally if you believe your child has lupus.