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Monday, October 22, 2012

Put on the Purple for Lupus Awareness

As I'm sure we all know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, but it also happens to be Lupus Awareness Month as well, at least in Canada and the UK. From what I can find, May is the official month for the United States, but regardless of month, Lupus is a disease many people just aren't that aware of. It currently effects 5 million people worldwide, 90 percent of them female.

Purple is the official colour for this cause and since there has been an onslaught of pink products for breast cancer, I thought I'd showcase a few purple items and share some Lupus facts.

1. Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer, 2. Wet n Wild 'Petal Pusher' Colour Icon Eyeshadow Collection, 3. Make Up Forever Aqua Eyes Waterproof Eyeliner in 4L, 4. MAC Full of Joy Powder Blush, 5. Revlon Lilac Pastelle Super Lustrous Lip Gloss, 6. Julep Anne Nail Polish

What is Lupus?

Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body (skin, joints, and/or organs inside the body.) Chronic means that the signs and symptoms tend to last longer than six weeks and often for many years. In lupus, something goes wrong with your immune system, which is part of the body that fights off viruses, bacterial, and germs ("foreign invaders" like the flu.) Normally our immune system produces proteins called antibodies that protect the body from these invaders. Autoimmune means that your immune system cannot tell the difference between these foreign invaders and your body's healthy tissues ("auto" means "self") and creates antibodies that attack and destroy healthy tissue. These antibodies cause inflammation, pain, and damage in various parts of the body.

7. OPI Lucky, Lucky Lavender Nail Polish, 8. Tarte Lights, Drama, Lashes! Mascara, 9. MAC Evening Stroll Casual Color Lip & Cheek Colour, 10. Zoya Marley Nail Polish, 11. MAC Azalea Blossom Blush Ombre, 12. MAC Pervette Lipstick, 13. Tarte Pure Maracuja Oil, 14. Urban Decay Delinquent 24/7 Glide on Shadow Pencil

What causes Lupus?

No one knows what causes lupus. Scientists think that people are born with the genes that develop lupus and that something brings on or triggers the disease and symptoms. However, a combination of genetics (heredity), environment, and hormones is involved.

Although many seemingly unrelated factors can trigger the onset of lupus in a susceptible person, scientists have noted some common features among many people who have lupus including: exposure to the sun, an infection, being pregnant/giving birth, and drugs taken to treat an illness.

15. Essie Nice is Nice Nail Polish, 16. China Glaze Marry a Millionaire Nail Polish, 17. Revlon Darling Just Bitten Balm Stain, 18. Tarte Fig SmolderEyes Amazonian Clay Waterproof Liner, 19. Maybelline Eye Studio Lawless Lavender Colour Pearls Marbelized Eyeshadow, 20. MAC Lavender Whip Lipstick, 21. Yves Rocher Soft Purple Lipstick

Lupus Facts:
  • Lupus is not contagious, not even through sexual contact. You cannot "catch" lupus from someone, nor can you "give" it to someone.  
  •  Lupus is a disease of "flares"- the symptoms worsen and you fell ill, and remissions- they symptoms improve and you feel better. 
  • Lupus can range from mild to life threatening and should always be treated by a doctor. With proper medical care, most people with lupus can lead a full life.
  • Lupus mostly strikes women of childbearing age (15-44) but men, children, and teenagers can develop the disease as well.
  • Lupus symptoms usually mimic those of other illnesses, thus making it difficult to diagnose.  
  • Lupus is not like or related to cancer. Cancer is a condition of malignant, abnormal tissues that grow rapidly and spread to surrounding tissues. Lupus is an autoimmune disease.
  • Lupus is not like or related to HIV or AIDS. In HIV or AIDS the immune system is underactive, while in lupus, the immune system is overactive.
22. Maybelline Eye Studio Legendary Lilac Eyeshadow Quad, 23. China Glaze Grape Pop Nail Polish, 24. MAC Narcissus Creamsheen Glass, 25. Cover Girl Violet Voltage Liquiline Blast Eyeliner, 26. Avon Mini Lash Curler, 27. Zoya Dannii Nail Polish, 28. Revlon Gumdrop Colour Burst Lip Butter

Obviously, lupus is only one of many diseases, but I felt that it was important to  shed a bit more light on it, as it is often overlooked and many people know nothing about it until it effects them or someone close to them.

For more information about Lupus, the Lupus Foundation of America has a really great site with information that is easy to understand and is organized in a really manageable fashion. All the information in this post was sourced from their site. 

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