Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Discoid Lupus Overview

What is discoid lupus?
A person with discoid lupus has inflammation of the tiny blood vessels in the skin. For this reason, discoid lupus is referred to as a vasculitis. Discoid lupus is a form of lupus that causes a rash on the skin. The rash is red, raised and may be scaly. A red patch in the shape of a butterfly may form on the face. The cause of discoid lupus is unknown. For some reason, the immune system mistakenly attacks normal skin in the body, which causes inflammation and damage to the skin.

What are the symptoms of discoid lupus?
Symptoms of discoid lupus include a butterfly rash on the face, itching, joint pains, and hair loss. The rash is described as red or pink, raised, and scaly.

How does the doctor treat discoid lupus?
Treatment for discoid lupus may include avoidance of sun exposure, topical corticosteroids, and medications to suppress inflammation. With treatment, about 40 percent of cases of discoid lupus resolve.

Continue to Discoid Lupus Incidence

Last Updated: Aug 25, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Discoid Lupus References
  1. de la Rosa Carrillo D, Christensen OB. Treatment of chronic discoid lupus erythematosus with topical tacrolimus. Acta Derm Venereol. 2004;84(3):233-4. [15202845]
  2. Green JJ, Baker DJ. Linear childhood discoid lupus erythematosus following the lines of Blaschko: a case report with review of the linear manifestations of lupus erythematosus. Pediatr Dermatol. 1999 Mar-Apr;16(2):128-33. [10337677]
  3. Ishida-Yamamoto A, Kanno K, Sato E, Takahashi H, Iizuka H. Discoid lupus erythematosus exacerbated by radiation therapy. J Dermatol. 2005 Mar;32(3):225-6. [15863874]
  4. Williams DS. Chronic cutaneous (discoid) lupus erythematosus. J Insur Med. 2005;37(1):70-1. [15895703]
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