Pop Singer Revelation:

Selena Gomez has Lupus

Only 21, singer/actress/paparazzi subject Selena Gomez has been in the public eye since her days as a regular on kid's TV. At times, she has been prone to intense internet scrutiny.  In the last year, entertainment blogs had pointed out changes in her appearance.  At occasional red carpet events, her face appeared swollen.  Sometimes, a rash appeared on her neck or chest.  When she canceled her concert tour late in 2013, the rumor factory went into full production mode.  Was the “Come & Get It” singer’s swollen face due to plastic surgery or injection of cosmetic fillers?  Was her rash some variation of “love bites” (hickeys)?  Was she nixing her tour because of her on/off love life with fellow young adult heartthrob Justin Bieber?


Then the site Popdust released this posting:

“Sources close to the singer tell Popdust that Selena was diagnosed with lupus a couple of years ago and that she has suffered multiple “flares” recently, causing facial swelling, extreme fatigue, headaches and joint pain.”

If true, this would explain a lot.  Okay, not the Justin Bieber thing, but the swelling, rashes and tour cancellation.

Lupus is due to an overactive immune response.  Cells that should be fighting infection instead react against organs of the body.  The skin, joints, lungs and kidneys can all be affected by this “auto-immune” condition.  Gomez is in a likely demographic to contract the disorder.  No, not because she is former child Disney star.  Lupus is most commonly noted in females and has a higher incidence in Hispanics.  While there are many theories as to why lupus strikes, the cause is unclear.  The severity varies dramatically and the inflammation can come and go.

Lupus can cause variety of rashes.  At an event on the arm of Bieber, Gomez has scattered blotchy red patches on her neck and chest.  These may be stress hives (she is with the Biebs, after all!), but the rash of lupus is also possible.  Hickies usually show a rougher, scratched appearance.


While there is no cure for lupus, there are treatments to reduce the inflammation.  Predisone is a powerful prescription anti-inflammatory pill that can be used to control lupus.  Unfortunately, the medicine has many side effects, including facial swelling. In these images, there is significant swelling of Selena's face on the right.

Note these images of Gomez, far right, at the 2012 VMA’s compared the previous events.  Her face shows edema, facial swelling that could be a side effect of prednisone.  This overall puffiness is not consistent with cosmetic filler injections.

Her bulging facial features cannot be blamed on generalized weight gain from binging on tasty Cronuts.  Her body appears as slim as ever.  Prednisone, which preferentially swells the face, is likely the cause.


The type and severity of lupus is extremely variable.  Some have a mild form, while others need hospitalization.  Singer Seal’s facial scars are due to a different form of the condition called Discoid Lupus (DLE).  He suffered as a teen, leading to dramatic scars. His lupus has been in remission for years. Gomez, who likely has the systemic type of lupus, should not have the same potential for scars.

Talented and perky, we wish Selena Gomez the best.  Since she survived the trials of being a teen pop star, she should have the strength to weather lupus as well.

Runner up:  Pop Star Revelation:

Toni Braxton is a Lupus Survivor. 

If Gomez is truly prone to lupus, she can look to singer Toni Braxton as a role model.  While shooting her show “Braxton Family Values,” Toni revealed to her family and the world that she had lupus. Here she receives an award for her work with a Lupus LA. No rash is seen. The course of lupus is more roller coaster than straight line, and it was reported that Braxton was hospitalized in late 2012 during a flare.  She has asked that you “Un-break” her heart.  We hope that researchers Un-cover the causes of lupus in the near future.


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