An autoimmune disease skin lupus, which is alarmingly increasing among the patients, has become the concern for doctors in this hot summer.
Doctors said the flare of disease rises in summer with patients developing rashes over their faces while going out in sun and also suffer from photo sensitivity.
City’s top rheumatologists said they see at least 8-10 cases each day complaining skin lupus. Skin lupus is an auto-immune disease in which a person suffers from photo sensitivity after going out in sun.
The rheumatologists said disease worsens in summers which triggers viral infections, sunlight UV rays, chemicals to the person who is genetically pre-disposed. The legions on the face resemble to the bite marks of wolves.
Rheumatologists said it is very unfortunate that this auto-immune disease has certainly led to the divorce/ separation among young couples. Many, a times doctors have to take counselling sessions to the patient’s husband and family members that the disease is not hereditary and contagious.
Explaining the role of sunlight, Dr Uma Kumar, Head of Department of Rheumatology at AIIMS said, Ultraviolet rays, especially UV-B is a potent inducer of apoptosis, a form of cell death. Moreover, UV-B is a contrast to UV-A rays do not penetrate deep in the skin and are absorbed in the keratinocytes. Also, the absorbed UV rays damage the DNA of the cells and make them antigenic, thus inviting an aberrant immune response, she added.
The cases of Lupus are more common in young women during 20-40years, a reproductive age group than in males with the ration of 1:10, informed the doctor.
In most severe cases, the disease can land patient to emergency situation affecting joints, hypertension, both leg paralyses, kidneys, brain, heart, sudden loss of vision and other organs.
After going out in the sun you have developed rashes over the face, then you should consult a Rheumatologist as early as possible a doctor said.
Meanwhile, Dr Lalit Duggal, Senior Consultant Rheumatologist at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital said, Around 5-10 per cent suffering from rheumatoid disorder have problem of lupus. I see at least two cases of lupus each day.
Calling sun’s UV rays as one of the triggers at pops up the disease, Dr Duggal said Many a times, married couples go for separation thinking that disease is infectious. To not let this happen, we have to give couselling to the patient’s husband and family that the disease is non transferable and not hereditary.
Dr. Vishal kaura Aggarwal - Rheumatologist at BLK Super Speciality Hospital said that UV-B rays of the sun is one of the trigger for the disease. It is likely that flare of the disease increases in the summer months, but it shows it flare in rainy and winters too. I see at 2 cases of skin lupus in a month at my OPD. Prolonged fever, joint pain with swelling and red rashes on the faces are the early symptoms. If ignored, it can also lead to low platelet count, kidney and brain disorders and strokes too.
It may be noted that in autoimmune disorders our body has defense mechanism against foreign bodies. When the invader or foreign body enters our body, the protein of the foreign body resembles proteins of our body cells. So, the antibody which works against those foreign bodies starts working against our cells and destroys those cells. The body fails to recognise the self from non self.
Various triggers such as viral infections, sunlight UV rays, chemicals, environmental changes are the risk factors for the person who is genetically pre-disposed and if there are no triggers the person will not develop the diseases.
The cases of Skin Lupus worsen in summers. For those who have to go out in sun, they should take triple protection. Apply sun block SPF cream on all exposed areas in very three to four hours. Carry Umbrella and follow protective clothing, Dr Kumar added.