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Lupus Erythematosus in Columbus, OH

Lupus erythematosus causes a variety of symptoms that differ between patients. People who have the condition may experience mild to severe symptoms that are chronic or infrequent. The nature of the condition makes diagnosis challenging, so the residents of the Columbus and Upper Arlington area rely on the expertise of board-certified dermatologist Dr. Shari Hicks-Graham.

What is Lupus Erythematosus?

Lupus erythematosus, known commonly as “lupus,” is an inflammatory disease in which your immune system attacks your organs and tissues, such as:

  • Lungs
  • Heart
  • Skin
  • Kidneys
  • Blood cells
  • Joints

The challenge with diagnosing lupus erythematosus is that each person may experience mild to severe symptoms or no symptoms. The symptoms are also noted with other conditions, so misdiagnoses are common. If you have lupus erythematosus, you may experience:

  • Butterfly-shaped patches of red skin on the cheeks and across the bridge of the nose
  • Raynaud’s phenomenon that describes the toes or fingers turning blue or white when exposed to cold or when you are under stress
  • Stiffness, pain, and swelling of the joints
  • Memory problems
  • Confusion
  • Chest pains
  • Headaches
  • Fever
  • Dry eyes
  • Feeling short of breath
  • Skin lesions (sores) that worsen with exposure to the sun

Lupus Erythematosus Treatment Benefits

Lupus erythematosus is not curable at this time, so treatment focuses on symptom management. In order to reach an accurate diagnosis, Dr. Hicks-Graham will most likely rule out other causes of your symptoms. Once an accurate diagnosis of lupus erythematosus is reached, she will recommend treatments that will help you have a higher quality of life as someone living with lupus erythematosus. Treating your symptoms can also prevent complications that may affect your:

  • Lungs
  • Kidneys
  • Heart
  • Brain
  • Blood
  • Central nervous system
  • Blood vessels

Treatment also reduces the likelihood of complications related to:

  • Avascular necrosis (bone tissue death caused by improper blood flow to bone tissue) that places you at risk for fractures
  • Cancer
  • Complications during pregnancy
  • Infections caused by a weakened immune system

How is Lupus Erythematosus Treated?

Our treatments for symptoms caused by lupus erythematosus are tailored to address your specific needs. As a board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Hicks-Graham understands the benefits of each treatment to your particular case.

What Can I Expect From Lupus Erythematosus Treatment?

Several medications have proven effective for managing the symptoms of lupus erythematosus, such as:

  • Immunosuppressants
  • Medications for malaria (lupus erythematosus is not associated with malaria, but these drugs are proven to reduce lupus-related symptoms)
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Corticosteroids

Dr. Hicks-Graham may also recommend supplements and lifestyle changes that are known to help alleviate the symptoms of lupus erythematosus.

Lupus Erythematosus Treatment Preparation

In the days before your consultation with Dr. Hicks-Graham, we recommend that you write down any symptoms that you have experienced, even if you believe they are not related to lupus erythematosus. We would also like you to be prepared to discuss how your symptoms have affected your quality of life and the activities that you would like to enjoy more.

Lupus Erythematosus Treatment Recovery

After you begin your treatment for lupus erythematosus, please be patient with yourself and your body. It may take some time for the symptoms to decrease in severity and frequency. Dr. Hicks-Graham will monitor your progress to ensure that you are satisfied with the results of your lupus erythematosus treatment. If your symptoms do not improve or if you experience new symptoms, please contact us to schedule a follow-up appointment.

How Much Does Lupus Erythematosus Treatment Cost?

Lupus erythematosus treatments are covered by medical insurance, so you will likely be responsible for a portion of the cost. If your insurance coverage does not include the recommended treatments, you will be responsible for the entire cost. Payment can be made via cash, check, major credit card or CareCredit® financing.

Is Lupus Erythematosus Treatment Right for Me?

Lupus erythematosus can affect anyone, but some people are more prone to the condition based on gender, age, and race. If you believe that your symptoms are caused by lupus erythematosus, we recommend that you meet with Dr. Hicks-Graham for a proper diagnosis.

Lupus Erythematosus Consultation

You needn’t let lupus erythematosus control your quality of life. Contact us to schedule a consultation with board-certified dermatologist Dr. Shari Hicks-Graham to learn about your options for symptom management.

The effects of lupus erythematosus can be uncomfortable and even debilitating. At Downtown Dermatology, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Shari Hicks-Graham provides an accurate diagnosis and treatments for those in the Columbus and Upper Arlington area who live with lupus erythematosus.