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Chronic discoid lupus erythematous

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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This is a chronic, relapsing and purely cutaneous autoimmune disorder which leads to scarring and alopecia. The clinical presentation can be divided in to:

  • localized - in sun-exposed areas such as the face, ears, and scalp
  • extensive - in the upper trunk and extremities (1,2)

It is characterised by plaques of scaling and erythema which eventually atrophy. Females are affected twice as commonly as men and the age of onset is between 25 to 45 years.

In the UK, presentation is usually in early spring and in summer (2).

Approximately 15% to 20% of patients with SLE present with discoid lupus erythematous (DLE) lesions but around 5% to 10% of patients with DLE will eventually develop systemic lupus erythematosus (2).

Click here for an example image of this condition


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