Autoimmune Skin Diseases
Autoimmune connective tissue diseases such as lupus erythematosus, dermatomyositis, and scleroderma are chronic conditions often associated with skin findings such as rashes, sun sensitivity, hair loss, mouth sores, or nail changes. For some patients, the skin is the only or the most severely affected organ, while for others, the skin is one of many organs affected. Skin changes are often among the earliest signs of these diseases. The cause of these diseases is unknown.
Dermatologists perform complete skin examinations to detect early signs of autoimmune connective tissue diseases. Skin biopsies and/or laboratory testing may be performed to aid in making the diagnosis and to monitor for evidence of internal organ damage associated with these diseases.
Treatment of the skin manifestations of lupus erythematosus, dermatomyositis, and scleroderma must be tailored to the individual patient and frequently involves both topical and systemic medications. You will be closely monitored for medication side effects and signs of systemic manifestations of your condition. Your dermatologist will work closely with other physicians involved in your care to ensure that you are receiving the safest and most effective therapy.
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