Lupus is an autoimmune disease. This means that the body's natural defense system (immune system) attacks your body's healthy tissues instead of attacking only things like bacteria and viruses. This causes inflammation.
Some people with lupus have only mild symptoms. But the disease is lifelong and can become severe. Lupus may cause problems with your skin, kidneys, heart, lungs, nerves, or blood cells.
Systemic lupus erythematosus is the most common and most serious type of lupus. But there are other types of lupus. They include discoid or cutaneous lupus, drug-induced systemic lupus, and neonatal lupus.