Types of Doctors People With Lupus May Need

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If you have lupus, you may not know where to begin on the path toward treatment. Most people start with their family doctor or internist, or a rheumatologist, a doctor who specializes in diseases affecting the joints and muscles. But because lupus can affect multiple parts of the body, your health care team may have multiple members. Use this guide to determine the other specialists you may need to see, and be sure to work closely with your primary doctor to coordinate your care.

If your lupus affects …

Make an appointment with …

The kidneys

A nephrologist, a renal system specialist

The skin, scalp, or mouth

A dermatologist, a skin disorder expert

The heart

A cardiologist, a heart specialist

The brain or nervous system

A neurologist, a doctor who treats nervous system disorders

The blood

A hematologist, who specializes in blood disorders


An endocrinologist, a doctor specializing in problems affecting glands and the endocrine system


A perinatologist, who treats high-risk pregnancies; all lupus pregnancies are considered high risk

The eyes

An ophthalmologist, who specializes in retinal exams and vision disorders, such as severe dry eyes and other vision-threatening lupus complications

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Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Last Review Date: 2019 Sep 10

  1. Impact of Lupus on the Body. Lupus Foundation of America. http://www.lupus.org/newsite/pages/body_tool.aspx

  2. What kinds of doctors treat lupus? http://www.lupus.org/answers/entry/what-kinds-of-doctors-treat-lupus

  3. Doctors Who Treat Lupus. http://www.lupus.org/resources/doctors-who-treat-lupus

  4. Handout on Health: Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Lupus/default.asp#Lupus_4);

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