If you notice a red rash across your cheeks and the bridge of your nose, it could be a malar rash. Also known as a butterfly rash, according to the Mayo Clinic, this skin condition is often red, pink, or purple, and can appear as blotchy, scaly, smooth, or raised. While the butterfly rash may come and go within a period of days or weeks, it can be a symptom of a wide-range of underlying health problems, including lupus.
As Maryann Mikhail, MD, writes for GoodRx, the rash is actually considered a telltale sign of lupus. In fact, about 50 percent of all lupus patients develop a butterfly rash, according to Johns Hopkins Lupus Center.
Lupus is a complicated autoimmune disease that affects people’s skin in addition to their kidneys, brain, heart, lungs, and joints. According to the Mayo Clinic, other symptoms of lupus include fatigue, hair loss, sensitivity to light, dry eyes, brain fog, and joint pain.