Women have a higher risk of developing lupus than men. Girls and teenagers are also at risk. However, Caucasian women are less likely to face lupus than women of all other races. Lupus is a systemic autoimmune disease that occurs when the body's immune system attacks its own tissues and organs. Inflammation caused by lupus can affect many body systems, such as joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart, and lungs.
Lupus can be difficult to diagnose because its signs and symptoms are often similar to those of other conditions. The most obvious sign of lupus, formation of the facial rash like the wings of a butterfly that develops on both cheeks, appears in many cases of lupus, but not in all. Some people are born with a tendency to develop lupus, which can be caused by infections, certain medications or even the sun. Although lupus cannot be cured, treatments can lessen the symptoms.