Both lupus and psoriasis are autoimmune diseases that can affect the human skin. Although they share some of the same symptoms, they are distinct conditions. Psoriasis is more common than lupus. However, lupus can be more destructive because it involves more than the skin. Also, both conditions have different treatments and complications. Here’s everything you need to know about lupus and psoriasis, including the symptoms, the treatments, the causes, and more.

1. What is lupus?

Systemic lupus erythematosus or SLE is often referred to simply as lupus. It occurs when the immune system attacks the body’s tissues, leading to damage. The condition can affect many different parts of the body, including:

  • Skin
  • Joints
  • Kidneys
  • Lungs
  • Heart
  • Blood vessels
  • Brain

Lupus is a chronic, long-term disease which has no cure. But, some treatment options can help manage the symptoms.

what is lupus

Lupus

2. What is psoriasis?

Like lupus, psoriasis is a chronic disease caused by an overactive immune system. But, it only affects the skin and causes red, scaly patches to appear on some parts of the body. The most common skin areas that can affected by psoriasis include:

  • Face
  • Skin folds
  • Scalp
  • Hands
  • Feet
  • Knees
  • Elbows
  • Nails
  • Genitals

People with psoriasis can have flares for the rest of their lives. But over time, the number and the severity of these flares will subside.

what is psoriasis

Psoriasis

3. Similarities and differences between lupus and psoriasis

Because lupus and psoriasis are autoimmune diseases, they share some similarities. But, there are also some differences that you should look at. For example:

Causes

Experts still don’t know the exact causes of lupus and psoriasis. But, studies have shown that some factors can contribute to the conditions. These can include:

  • Genetic factors
  • Exposures to chemicals or solvents
  • Infections
  • Stress
  • The Western diet or the Standard American Diet

Despite the treatment, exposures to these factors can cause the conditions to flare.

Read more: How Can Smoking Affect Lupus Patients?

Prevalence

As opposed to lupus, psoriasis is a more common condition. It currently affects 125 million people in the world. Meanwhile, about 5 million people worldwide are suffering from lupus. In the United States, lupus affects 1.5 million people while psoriasis attacks up to 7.5 million people. 

Autoimmune effects

In both conditions, the body will produce antibodies. These can mistakenly attack the healthy cells. While psoriasis is limited to the skin, lupus causes damage to various parts of the body. Some of the main organs, such as lungs, kidneys and the joints are examples. Psoriasis can also affect the joints, which is called psoriatic arthritis.

Who’s most at risk?

People of any age can develop psoriasis, but those between 15 and 35 can be more at risk. Lupus mostly affects people between 15 and 44, especially pregnant women. Researchers have found that women of color are 2 to 3 times more likely to develop lupus than white women.

Lupus and psoriasis: Are the contagious?

Both conditions are not contagious. So, they can’t spread from one person to another.

Can they cause cancer?

Psoriasis and lupus can’t cause cancer. But, scientists find a link between psoriasis and some certain types of cancer. A cancer of the immune system, called Lymphoma, is a typical example.

Read more: 10 Cancer Symptoms Women Often Ignore

Lupus and psoriasis: similarities and differences

Lupus and psoriasis: similarities and differences

4. Can you have lupus and psoriasis at the same time?

It’s possible for a person to have psoriasis and lupus at the same time. The symptoms can be especially apparent and uncomfortable. To know if you’re having the conditions, check your symptoms carefully.

Psoriasis symptoms

  • Pain and distortion in the joints (psoriasis arthritis)
  • Thickened, pitted or ridged fingernails or toenails
  • Itching, burning, swelling or soreness in the affected area
  • Dry skin that itch, crack, or bleed
  • Small scaling and red spots
  • Skin patches covered with thick, silvery scales

Usually, the symptoms can be mild and disappear for some time. But during a flare, they can be very severe.

Read more: Misunderstanding Between Psoriasis and Ringworm

Psoriasis symptoms

Psoriasis symptoms

Lupus symptoms  

Symptoms of lupus can vary, depending on each patient and flare. But, the most common symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Facial rash that looks like a butterfly
  • Body rashes after exposure to sunlight
  • Blue or white fingers or toes after exposure to the cold
  • Joint pain
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath

It’s very difficult to diagnose lupus because symptoms can be confused with others. To receive an official diagnosis, it can take several years. So, regularly go to the doctor to check if you may be having lupus.

Lupus symptoms

Lupus symptoms

5. Treatment for lupus and psoriasis

Both conditions are serious and can lead to long-term health effects if not treated well. Here are some of the best treatments doctors recommend to patients.

Psoriasis treatment

  • Topical corticosteroids
  • Salicylic acid
  • Vitamin D analogues
  • Moisturizers
  • Light therapy
  • Avoid getting cuts and sunburns
Moisturize the skin

Moisturize the skin

Lupus treatment

  • Corticosteroids
  • Antimalarial drugs
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Anti-rheumatic drugs
  • Fish oil
  • LupuFree

LupuFree is one of the best natural lupus treatments on the market right now. It helps reduce inflammation and promote immune system balance. Clinical trials have shown that LupuFree are effective to treat a variety of lupus symptoms, such as:

  • Skin rash
  • Chronic pain and aches
  • Headache and fatigue

Many people with lupus have used it and reported of seeing improvements within 1 to 3 months of use.

Read more: Exercise Helps Improve Lupus Symptoms

Take lupus supplement

Take lupus supplement

Lupus and psoriasis are severe and chronic diseases. If you suspect you have them, see a doctor to get an official diagnosis and effective treatment. Besides, you should avoid stress, take a lot of rest, and follow a healthful diet to prevent flares.