Lupus rash?

Once I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, my mind flew back in time to every medical issue that has afflicted me. I remember about 9 years ago, I had a weird "rash" appear on my bum. It consisted of several red bumpy splotches about the size of my thumb that burned and stung. They were very uncomfortable and it took several weeks for them to heal. I never went to the doctor about it, because frankly, I was a little embarrassed. Later, when I was having a routine physical, I mentioned to my doc about this rash. He was certain that it had been shingles. I was only 44? at the time. Could this have been related to my autoimmunity? I have never had a butterfly rash, but my nose and cheeks are often reddish pink in color. Anyone have insight for me?

11 Replies

  • I had shingles at 38 on my bum as well. Could definitely have been especially with immune issues of lupus.

  • So is there a difference between a lupus rash (except the butterfly) and shingles? Besides the fact that people with lupus are more susceptible?

  • I had shingles, on my face, at 29. Strongly believe it was due to autoimmunity.

  • I think my bout was due to autoimmunity also, but was it really shingles or a lupus rash? Is there a difference?

  • I was diagnosed with Tumid Lupus. This kind of Lupus leaves rashes on the skin. Mine are bright pink, sometimes a purple color and the skin is actually raised...kind of like a burn. It looks like a burn and feels like a burn. At first, I was told it was everything from an allergy to Lyme Disease. It took 2 years for me to be diagnosed with Lupus.

  • Hello,

    When it comes to the difference between shingles and a lupus-related rash:

    -Shingles (herpes zoster) is a painful skin rash caused by the varicella zoster virus, the same virus that causes chicken pox. Once someone has chicken pox, the virus remains silently in nerve cells, kept “in check” by the immune system


    -Many people with SLE develop rashes on their skin – most commonly on the face, wrists and hands. A rash over the cheeks and the bridge of the nose is particularly common and is known as a "butterfly rash" or "malar rash". Rashes caused by SLE may get better after a few days or weeks, but can last longer or even be permanent. Rashes caused by SLE can sometimes be itchy or painful. They may get worse if they are exposed to sunlight.

    If you want more information on lupus-related rashes, you might find our blog post on itchy rashes useful

    We also have a booklet about skin involvement in lupus which you can read and download from our website at

  • Thank you so much, Fabienne!

  • Can't tell this far after unless it was actually seen. But it sure sounds like the symptoms of shingles which you can get at any age. I wish you the very best with your journey❤️

  • I've had the "bums rash"! After I had been tested the first time. It itches and burned severely from Friday thru Sunday. Monday when I called the Dr it was starting to fade, by the time my appt time came on Wednesday it had mostly faded from cortisone and oatmeal paste. It was miserable, horrible awful burning itching and it didn't slack off for 3 d as ys! The cortisone helped a little to we'll, I tested negative again at the Dr's! If it hadn't been for the pics on my b phone, I'd never have proved it. It was the next blood test that proved positive. I would have rather not had it!

  • I have learned to take pictures of everything! However, autoimmune disease was far off of my radar 9 years ago. I have concluded that it was shingles and as mentioned earlier, my growing autoimmune illness made me more susceptible. I will definitely be talking about this with my new Rheumatologist.

  • Actually, as bad as the red streaks up my bump itched/burned, that's not the worst of my problems, right now.

    I have spinal damage the results in severe pain down my left leg and my lower back, my mid back and my neck. Last year I had a pain pump inserted in my stomach connected to my spine. The week after insertion, my legs started swelling like I had lymphodema. My Dr prescribed Lasix. 2 weeks later, a larger dose. 3 weeks an even larger dose. Now I take 50 MG Lasix and Hydroclorathiazide every day. Plus I just got inflatable pressure cuffs for my legs. So we don't know if it'd the Lupus or the pain pump and drugs (right now I'm on Dilaudid) or a combination of the two. I've gained 40 lbs of water in a year. Any thoughts?

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