Discoid Lupus Erythematosus, All What you Want to Know about!

What are the types of Lupus?

 

First: Acute Cutaneous Lupus ‘Butterfly rash\ Malar rash’:

 

It’s a skin infection that appears on the cheekbones and take the form of a butterfly, normally, butterfly rash is a reddish or purplish patches, which is usually not painful whether it’s severe or mild. Sometimes, it’s itchy and hot. Butterfly rash is the most obvious and identifiable symptom of lupus. That’s why, a lot of organizations specialized in lupus takes the symbol of a butterfly as their own.

Discoid Lupus Erythematosus
Discoid Lupus Erythematosus

Second: Subacute Cutaneous Lupus:

It has two types:

  • The first kind is highly sensitive to sunlight that’s why it’s called photosensitivity. As for its look, it seems like small pimples. It is also called a psoriasis-like lesion with red scaly patches that appears on the arms, shoulders, neck, and trunk and few patches on the face. As the rash develops, the pimples get clearer and more obvious. Patients with this kind of rash complain of moderate to severe itchiness associated with rash. Once more, excessive exposure to sunlight gets this rash even worse, and it can appear on face, chest and arms.

 

  • The second type starts as flat lesions and get bigger turning into red ring-shaped with slight scales on the edges. This kind of rash appears on the face, neck, chest, arms, and back. This rash is itchy and gets worse in the sunlight. After being treated, this rash leaves no scars, but it leaves a non-depressing scars or an area of de-pigmentation where the rash occurred.

 

Third: Chronic cutaneous Lupus ‘Discoid Lupus Erythematosus’ :

 

It’s a group of various viral rash continuous autoimmune inflammatory diseases and often affect the skin. It’s worthy to mention that Discoid Lupus Erythematosus is the most common form of cutaneous lupus. Discoid lupus is characterized by: persistent scaly, disk-like plaques on scalp, face, and ears that may cause pigmentary changes, scarring, and hair loss.

 

What is Discoid Lupus Erythematosus?

 

It’s a group of various continuous autoimmune inflammatory diseases and often affect the skin. It’s worthy to mention that Discoid Lupus Erythematosus is the most common form of cutaneous lupus. Discoid lupus is characterized by: persistent scaly, disk-like plaques on scalp, face, and ears that may cause pigmentary changes, scarring, and hair loss.

 

What are the causes of Discoid Lupus Erythematosus?

 

  1. Genetic Predisposition.
  2. Exposure to sunlight.
  3. Toxins such as cigarette smoke.
  4. Hormones.

 

Who gets Discoid Lupus Erythematosus?

 

The majority of people with Discoid Lupus Erythematosus have just involvement of skin infection ‘Cutaneous LE’. Almost, 5%-25% of people with Discoid Lupus develop Systematic Lupus Erythematosus, in which other forms of cutaneous lupus and other organs may develop diseases. SLE symptoms are mild in these patients.

 

Signs of localized Discoid Lupus Erythematosus include:

 

  1. Initial lesions ‘dry red patches.’
  2. Swollen red or hyperpigmented plaques with adherent scale.
  3. Older lesions are hyperpigmented especially on the edge of the plaques.
  4. Scarring results in central loss of pigment ‘white patches’ and skin atrophy ’tissue loss’.
  5. Located on cheeks, nose, ear lobe and concha.
  6. It may involve lips, oral mucosa, nose or eyelids.

Scalp lesions cause temporary or permanent patches of hair loss.

 

Symptoms of generalized Discoid Lupus Erythematosus:

 

  1. Plaques on anterior chest, upper back, and backs of hands.
  2. Affects palms and soles.
  3. Affect anogenital mucosa.

 

Diagnosis of Discoid Lupus:

 

Discoid Lupus Erythematosus id often diagnosed through its appearance on sun-exposed sites, as well as the appearance of the plaques. Patients with Discoid Lupus should undergo a through a general examination in order to discover if other symptoms are present or not.

Doctors confirm infection via skin biopsy, in which typical features of Discoid Lupus Erythematosus are found. These features include:

  • Interface and periadnexal dermatitis.
  • Follicular plugging.
  • Atrophy and scaring.

 

Blood Test:

Before diagnosis, doctors ask patients with Discoid Lupus Erythematosus to carry out a blood test.

  1. Full blood account.
  2. Renal Function Test.
  3. Inflammatory markers such as C-reactive protein.
  4. Antinuclear antibody.
  5. Extractable nuclear antibody.
  6. Anti-annexin 1 antibodies: these might be a diagnostic marker for Discoid Lupus Erythematosus.

 

What’s the treatment of Discoid Lupus Erythematosus:

 

  • Preventive measures:

The following preventive procedures are to protect yourself from Discoid Lupus Erythematosus:

  1. Careful year-round protection from sunlight using clothing, accessories, and sunscreens. Sunscreens only are inadequate.
  2. Indoors: some patients need to stay away from glass windows or these can be treated with UV-blocking film.
  3. Vitamin D.
  4. Smoking cessation.

 

What is the outlook of Discoid Lupus Erythematosus?

 

Discoid Lupus Erythematosus tends to continue for years or decades. In some patients, all symptoms of active DLE fade away in time.

Squamous cell carcinoma can rarely arise within a longstanding DLE plaque in the skin or mucous membrane. It presents as an enlarging warty growth or ulcer. It is usually treated surgically.

Tips and Advice:

Because these rashes are of photosensitivity, it would be better for you to protect yourself from direct exposure to sunlight or fluorescent lights that emits UV radiation. Generally, patients with lupus always experience  photosensitivity, so protecting themselves from harmful sunshine would be of great benefit.

Also, if you have persistent and unexplained rash, you are recommended to see the doctor and take the proper medicine.

 

Is Discoid Lupus Erythematosus contagious?

Fortunately, neither Discoid Lupus Erythematosus nor any form of Lupus is contagious.

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