To round off Lupus Awareness Month I thought I’d get nice and personal with you all and show you exactly what my Lupus looks like!
Recently, it’s been pretty good and the last time I had a flare up was a whole month ago!
These flares come and go and as you may have read from my previous posts, they get pretty bad during the summer months!
Some flares disappear within a few days once I put the cream on and others linger around for much longer.
I’ve had one flare behind my right ear for over 2 years now!
This specific area always flares up and the papules do come and go but they never disappear permanently; they just settle and as a result the skin is pretty hyper-pigmented (see pics).
I’ve learned to become super aware of any changes to my skin and I am constantly checking it. This is too avoid any delay when a lesion appears because they don’t typically hurt when they arrive. When a papule does occur I note it down and then use my prescribed steroid creams to reduce the inflammation (I have one for my chest, arms etc. and a less potent cream for my face and ears). I also take a tablet once a day during the autumn/winter months and twice a day during the summer, which helps to reduce inflammation and provides protection from UV light.
Although the flares aren’t usually that painful, at times they can be very sensitive especially when the inflammation spreads across the skin.
My face, ears, chest are the most affected areas and sometimes I get them on my upper arms too. When the skin is inflamed I do get some discomfort when I accidentally scratch myself, or if my clothing rubs on it. And because of the creams I use, especially on my chest when hot water runs on it, it can hurt quite a bit.
So I get a flare, I put the cream on to settle it down; which turns it from a raised, inflamed, red scaly lesion to a flat spot.
I then use an additional cream just for a day or two to further reduce the inflammation until it completely turns into a scar.
So why am I telling you all of this?!
Well, with my writing I always aim to raise awareness and hopefully leave you with some new information on something you may not be too familiar with. It’s also about encouraging you to think and reflect on your own thoughts and perceptions too.
Even myself this time 3 years ago I had no real idea about Lupus and how it can present itself so differently.
If I’m being totally honest, when I first started having these lesions and scars I was conscious of them and was hesitant about wearing tops that exposed my chest (not that I should be anyway). I’ve now learned to embrace them and understand that it isn’t that big of a deal, plus no one really cares anyway. Lupus affects people in many different ways and with varying severity. I’m just grateful that my inflammation only affects my skin and that it is not present any where else in my body.
So yes this post is for any of you who has a general interest or has had anything which has altered your skin or appearance in any kind of way. I didn’t include any of the really squeamish photos but I hope the ones I did add weren’t too off putting!
As always, any questions please do get in touch!