Symptoms & DiagnosisEach person with lupus has different symptoms that can range from
mild to severe and may come and go over time. New symptoms may continue to appear years after the initial diagnosis, and different symptoms can occur at different times.

In some people with lupus, only one system of the body, such as the skin or joints, is affected. Other people experience symptoms in many parts of their body. Just how seriously a body system is affected varies from person to person.

Common Symptoms

  • Painful or swollen joints and muscle pain
  • Unexplained fever
  • Red rashes, most commonly on the face
  • Chest pain upon deep breathing
  • Unusual loss of hair
  • Pale or purple fingers or toes from cold or stress (Raynaud’s phenomenon)
  • Sensitivity to the sun
  • Swelling (edema) in legs or around eyes
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Swollen glands
  • Extreme fatigue


Lupus can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are usually not present all the time. When the symptoms are present, they can mimic other diseases, resulting in misdiagnosis. The process of diagnosis requires a patient’s entire medical history, details on the frequency and severity of symptoms and an analysis of lab test results. If you think you may have lupus, please contact your physician.