Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disease and can't be cured. Pimples are temporary skin blemishes and are caused by an overproduction of oil. The two conditions might seem unrelated, but they might have more in common than you think. While lupus doesn't cause pimples, once you know more about the connections, you can speak with your doctor about an appropriate treatment for your symptoms.
Lupus is an inflammatory disease that occurs when your immune system attacks your tissues and organs. Lupus can cause inflammation of any of your body parts, including your joints, kidneys, skin, blood cells, heart, brain and lungs. One of the primary symptoms of lupus is a butterfly-shaped rash that appears on your cheeks and over your nose. Other common symptoms include fatigue, fever, joint pain, skin lesions, shortness of breath, chest pain and dry eyes. The cause of lupus is likely because of genetics and your environment, but most cases are diagnosed without a known cause. Your doctor will recommend a medication based on the location and severity of your symptoms.
Pimples can appear anywhere on your body, but usually develop on your face, neck, chest, shoulders and back. Pimples are caused by an overproduction of sebum, an oil in your skin. When the buildup of oil combines with dead skin cells or bacteria, a pimple might form. Pimples are a type of acne, though you might get just one blemish at a time. A pimple is a red bump that has a pus-filled white tip, and it may be tender to the touch. Over-the-counter and prescription treatments might help clear up chronic pimples. To help prevent pimples, wash your face gently and use an acne lotion to limit oil production.
The butterfly rash that often appears with lupus might mimic pimples. According to the Lupus Foundation of America, the rash is often confused with acne rosacea, a condition that might also have pimples with it. Lupus itself doesn't cause pimples. Drug-induced lupus might also be connected with pimples because it can be caused by certain prescription acne medications, reports The Nemours Foundation's website, KidsHealth. This kind of lupus differs from traditional lupus because it usually goes away once the medication is stopped, but the symptoms are the same as traditional lupus.
If you experience fatigue, fever, joint pain or skin lesions that don't get better within a few days, seek medical attention. The butterfly rash that can appear on your face might mimic pimples or acne, but if it doesn't go away or gets worse, ask your doctor about testing you for lupus. Acne rosacea affects your cheeks, but the rash that accompanies lupus doesn't spread to your cheeks; it remains in the immediate area around the bridge of your nose. If you have true pimples, and cannot clear your skin, speak with your dermatologist about appropriate treatments for you.