Navigation follows, skip to content? New England Baptist Hospital Logo Utility navigation follows, skip to content? Primary navigation follows, skip to content?

Health Library


What Is Lupus?

Systemic lupus erythematosus is a chronic autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue. Lupus can damage any part of the body including skin, joints, and organs. The exact cause of lupus is not known.


Symptoms of lupus vary from person to person, and may come and go. Joint pain and rashes, often after going out in the sun, are common.


Lupus has a wide array of symptoms, many of which are consistent with other diseases, and therefore can be difficult to diagnose. If lupus is suspected, a physical exam and laboratory testing are done.


Treatment for lupus is directed toward each person’s individual symptoms. Wearing protective clothing and sunscreen is important to avoid sun exposure. Prescribed medications include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen and naproxen), hydroxychloroquine, and stronger medications that suppress the immune system.

Footer navigation follows, return to top?

Our Cookie Policy

Your privacy is important to us. We use cookies and other tracking technologies to ensure the performance and security of our website and to monitor website use for business and website optimization purposes. This may include disclosures about your use of the website to third parties. By using our website, you agree to its use of these technologies. To learn more, please read our Terms of Use.