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Because DNA and RNA all over the body are affected, the symptoms can be immensely varied. The commonest are widespread joint pains and aching in muscles; often there are skin rashes and these are particularly made worseby sunlight. There is a characteristic facial rashcalled a butterfly rash, which is typical of the illness. In the most severe cases the kidneys, heart and lungscan all be affected; this tends to be a feature ofmore advanced disease in which there is also personality change and a high chance of a stroke.Most people withSLE have a much milder form of the illness and it is more of nuisance value than a critical illness.

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