From a FaceBook post dated February 7, 2019
One of the tell tale signs/symptoms of lupus is a facial rash. Many refer to it as a butterfly 🦋 rash because it fans out and over both cheeks, bridging the nose (the medical name for it is a malar rash). Interesting Fact: this is why the butterfly is used to represent lupus.
When I first began having symptoms, prior to diagnosis, it was one of the first things my mom noticed. The rash comes and goes. However, its appearance has always been a signal for me that my lupus was/is in an active stage. To most, when I’m sporting the rash, my cheeks just look extra rosy. Some think I’m just becoming flush from over exerting myself. When the rash is at its worse, not only are my cheeks extremely flush, but they also get super hot—sometimes causing me to break out in a sweat. Although uncomfortable, these extreme instances of my rash usually only last a couple of hours at most.
If you read my post last week about my doctor’s appointment, I mentioned one of the first indicators that this most recent flare was coming on was that my cheeks got extremely hot. I’ve been surprised as I walk through this current flare because my butterfly rash hasn’t abated like I’m used to it doing. Even as I write this (a week into this most recent flare) my cheeks are burning up. They have felt this way so long that my skin has started to sting (almost like a sunburn). It’s definitely not the worst thing I could be dealing with, but it most assuredly gets old.
So you might be wondering why I took all the time to explain this. I’ve come to realize that many people don’t know a lot about lupus, other than it’s name and that people with the disease generally don’t feel well. I’ve also come to realize the only way to help people learn about this disease is that those of us who live with it every day have to be willing and vulnerable enough to share glimpses of our stories—snippets of what our lives are like living with this day in and day out.