Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE or Lupus)

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic autoimmune disease in which tissue in every organ of the body—such as the brain, lungs, blood, and skin—becomes inflamed. Symptoms often get worse (flare-up) and then improve (go into remission).


The exact cause of SLE is unknown, although it is linked to a combination of factors such as environment, hormones and a genetic predisposition to having an overactive immune system.


Common signs and symptoms related to SLE are:

  • Headaches

  • Fatigue

  • Swelling

  • Hair loss

  • Joint pain

  • Butterfly rash (red rash on the cheeks and nose)

  • Weight loss

  • Sores in the mouth or nose

  • Seizures


To determine if your child has SLE, your specialized doctor will start with a thorough physical exam and ask about your child’s symptoms. If you child has at least 4 physical symptoms and/or blood test abnormalities, they will likely be diagnosed with SLE.


There is no cure for lupus. Therefore, the goal for treatment is to control inflammation.

Possible non-surgical treatments your doctor may offer or recommend to treat your child’s scleroderma include:

  • Immunosuppressive medication

  • Corticosteroid medication

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen

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Connective Tissue Disorders