How to Tell the Difference between Rosacea and Lupus

By Sara . Updated: January 16, 2017
How to Tell the Difference between Rosacea and Lupus

Photosensitive skin conditions rosacea and lupus have lots of common symptoms like facial redness and photosensitve skin. Both skin conditions even show elevated antinuclear antibodies in blood tests. Due to these similarities sometimes dermatologists get confused between rosacea and lupus. But wrong diagnosis often leads to wrong treatment which makes the skin condition worse. In this OneHowTo article we explain how to tell the difference between rosacea and lupus, so you can understand which condition is affecting your skin.


  1. Different symptoms of rosacea and lupus
  2. Pattern of the condition
  3. Who is affected by rosacea and lupus
  4. Treatment for rosacea and lupus

Different symptoms of rosacea and lupus

Rosacea occurs only in the face at the nose, forehead and cheeks. Redness occurs over the effected region and it does not go away easily. It is sometimes accompanied by bumps and lesions that look like acne. At times it is quite itchy. In this article you can learn more about the symptoms of rosacea.

Lupus too occurs in face and extends till nose and cheeks. It sometimes occurs in trunk, legs or arms too. Lupus causes the immune system to become weak due to which the body cannot protect itself from germs and bacteria. This causes swelling and skin irritation.

There are two types of lupus and both have slight different symptoms. In acute lupus the effected region has a pink-blue hue and the eyelids seem puffy. In cutaneous discoid lupus, thickened and scaly violet hued plaque occurs on face.

Pattern of the condition

One of the main differences between rosacea and lupus is the pattern that the symptoms show. In rosacea the rash spreads all over the face. There is no particular pattern of the redness in the affected area. However, it is different in lupus. Lupus presents its symptoms in a rash and redness that occurs in butterfly pattern.

Who is affected by rosacea and lupus

In the case of rosacea, women are more susceptible to it than men. It occurs especially in light to fair skin people. There are very few reports of rosacea in dark skinned person. Also, rosacea is more common of older people, although it can happen in children and adolescents. It is usually a condition that runs in the families, so if a parent suffers from rosacea it would be advisable to check for symptoms on their children.

Lupus too occurs mostly in women, but men are not totally immune to it. In fact, 90% of people with lupus are women, and they first developed the symptoms of this disease between the ages of 15 and 44. Regarding to race, African-American women are up to three times more likely to get lupus than Caucasian women. Also, the disease affects more Asian-American and Latina women than Caucasian. The causes of lupus are unknown, but genetics and hormones are a key factor in developing the disease.

How to Tell the Difference between Rosacea and Lupus - Who is affected by rosacea and lupus

Treatment for rosacea and lupus

To treat rosacea there are two main types of treatment: one is conventional medicine and other is natural treatment. For outer relief i.e. to remove the symptoms of rosacea conventional medicines such as Azelaic acid, Isotretinoin, Erythromycin, Minocycline, Metronidazole, Doxycyline and others can be used. But these medicines only provide temporary relief. You can also treat acne rosacea at home in a natural way that will soothe your skin and relieve the itchiness and redness of this condition.

In the case of lupus, it is best to consult your dermatologist to get a proper treatment according to your specific condition. The symptoms of this condition vary from one person to another, so it's better to get a professional check your particular case. For natural treatment fish oil is a great option as EPA/ DHA in it helps in reducing inflammation.

When you're diagnosed with lupus, your doctor will make you a treatment specific for your type of lupus based on your age, general health and lifestyle. This treatment will help you reduce the inflammation caused by the disease, prevent flares, control other symptoms of lupus like fatigue, suppress the overactive immune system and minimize the damage that the disease can cause to the organs.

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Tell the Difference between Rosacea and Lupus, we recommend you visit our Diseases & secondary effects category.

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How to Tell the Difference between Rosacea and Lupus