Cutaneous lupus is a chronic disease that requires long-term treatment to prevent symptoms, such as skin rash and sores, from appearing and spreading.
At NYU Langone, dermatologists prescribe sun avoidance and medication to control symptoms and reduce the risk of flare-ups. Our doctors also monitor you for any changes in symptoms that may indicate systemic lupus erythematosus, another type of lupus that affects organs throughout the body.
Your dermatologist schedules regular appointments to monitor the effectiveness of medication, determine if your prescription or prescriptions need to be adjusted, and offer support throughout treatment. If your symptoms change, your doctor reassesses your treatment plan to determine whether any changes need to be made.
Your doctor may periodically perform blood tests and monitor you for signs and symptoms of systemic lupus erythematosus.
If immunosuppressant medications are part of your long-term treatment plan, your dermatologist recommends regular skin cancer screenings. These medications suppress the immune system and can make you susceptible to skin cancer, although this occurs rarely.
Your dermatologist may also refer you to an NYU Langone rheumatologist for additional evaluation and care—for example if you are experiencing joint aches or pains.
Research suggests that stress can trigger flare-ups or worsen a breakout. Licensed physicians and therapists at NYU Langone offer integrative therapies, including meditation, acupuncture, and acupressure, to help ease stress and anxiety and enhance wellbeing. Your dermatologist can also refer you to a psychotherapist if you would like to talk about how the challenges of cutaneous lupus are affecting your quality of life.
Cigarettes and other tobacco products contain substances that may cause flare-ups of cutaneous lupus. Tobacco also reduces the effectiveness of medications used to treat cutaneous lupus. Experts in the Tobacco Cessation Programs at NYU Langone can help you quit for good.