Ways to Remove the Scars from Lupus Erythematosus
Let’s talk about Lupus scars and skincare treatments. We have talked about lupus and the skin before, but never about treatments for preventing or removing the scars cause by Lupus. Please note that not all lupus patient gets scarring from lupus.
Over the years I have had some pretty bad scarring on my arms, face and legs from lupus. In the last two years the scarring has gotten worse. So in my desperation to find out how to further prevent or to remove these scars, I came across this information and I wanted to share it with you.
For the most part lupus is an invisible disease, however one of the many symptoms of Lupus are these disfiguring scars on the skin. They can appear on almost any part of the body. These are defined as “pigmentary changes that can significantly impair one’s skin, self-esteem and quality of life,” says Andrew G. Franks Jr., M.D., clinical professor of dermatology and medicine (rheumatology)* Lesions developed by Lupus Erythematosus can leave long term scars that are hard to remove. There are certain treatments available that have proven to be effective at removing these scars.
Having these permanent scars on our face or other parts of our body can deeply affect and alter your look permanently. This can lead to having feelings of anxiety, negative social interaction stress and depression. On top of physical ailments and discomfort these scarring can make a Lupus patient’s everyday life even more difficult – having a visible scar doesn’t encourage you to want to be social.
Here are some ways to protect your skin.
There are ways we can work to prevent lesions and protect our skin, like eating a balanced diet, full of vitamin E, that not only helps prevent but also promote cell regeneration. Protecting your skin from the sun is very crucial for everyone, but especially for Lupus patient. The sun can affect our skin and worsen existing lesions and scars. Use sunscreen everyday and try to stay out from the sun whenever possible. You can also wear SPF protective clothing when possible.
Treatments to remove existing lesions and scars.
For patients with scars that haven’t worsened or sunken into the skin due to sun exposure this treatment has proven to be effective. This laser technology burns the scars off the skin giving place to new smooth skin.
Patients who have active SLE are not recommended to go forward with this treatment because certain lasers can cause additional flares. Microdermabrasion or chemical peels are often recommended instead. The highest recommended laser treatment for Lupus patients is IPL (Intense Pulse Light).
Is Cosmetic Surgery Recommended?
According to skincareguide.com “Cosmetic surgery for those still having SLE or CLE flairs is highly discouraged, as it may cause skin irritation and other problems”. The verdict is still out on which cosmetic surgical procedures are beneficial for scarring caused by Lupus. Hopefully with more research and trials we’ll find out soon.
There have been other treatments like injections that have been found to be helpful at preventing scars.
Injections and Oral Treatments
Injections have also been found helpful in controlling scaring before it starts. Hydroxychloroquine, steroids or azathioprine in oral forms have helped many patients with redness and rashes more so than actual scars.
What about skincare products?
Regular moisturizers and anti-aging creams can help with the overall smoothness and feel of the skin but won’t heal or fade scars. “Hyaluronic Acid has also been studied as a way to fill the scars.” Hyaluronic Acid is what they use for lip and face fillers which has a puffing effect making scars look less deep.
Another remedy that’s being used to reduce the appearance of hyper pigmented scars or darker looking lesions is commercial skin bleach. However, Lupus patients are warned to be careful and check with your dermatologist and healthcare providers before using bleaching products.
There is more research being done on other ways to remove scars and hopefully someday soon we get a permanent remedy and treatment to heal the skin from Lupus scars.
Disclaimer: Before you choose a treatment to help with scarring, remember to speak to your doctor to determine which of them is right for you and if it can have any side effects or counter effects that can worsen your skin condition.
* and the director of the Skin Lupus and Autoimmune Connective Tissue Disease section of the Skin & Cancer Unit at New York University (NYU) Langone Medical Center. “