By A. G. Moore 10/23
As I develop this website, I will include some of the less common manifestations of lupus. One of these is lupus panniculitis. According to Raksha M. Patel of the Medical College, Gujarat, India, this manifestation of lupus occurs in 2 to 5% of patients who have systemic lupus.
Panniculitis is an inflammation of the fatty tissues under the skin. There are several forms of panniculitis; lupus panniculitis is just one of them. Lupus panniculitis looks like tiny bumps, but these can ulcerate and cause scarring. In some people the inflammation is localized and in some people it occurs over wide areas of the body. It can be painful, and often is an indication that lupus is active. Panniculitis is treated, like other forms of lupus, with anti-malarials. According to Bruce E. Strober, in Dermatology Online Journal, anti-malarials should be the first line of defense against lupus panniculitis. Dr. Strober recommends that steroid therapy be resorted to only in resistant cases where the condition is widespread.
Because panniculitis can be associated with diseases other than lupus (like scleroderma) it is very important that an accurate diagnosis be arrived at; treatment for lupus panniculitis varies from that of some other forms of this disorder. In some patients, panniculitis may be the first symptom of systemic lupus. In 50% of people who have panniculitis, systemic lupus is eventually diagnosed.
Lupus Panniculitis is considered a dermatological condition, though treatment would likely be coordinated between a rheumatologist and a dermatologist. More information about this disorder may be found through the following links:
NIH (National Institutes of Health, US)
DermNetNZ (New Zealand Dermatological Society)
UScap (Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, US)