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Discoid Lupus

What is Discoid lupus?
Discoid lupus is a chronic scarring skin lesion associated with lupus. Discoid lesions generally appear on the face, scalp, ears & ocassionally on other areas of the body. When the lesion appears on hairy area of the body, it may lead to permanent patchy scarring & hair loss. It may occur in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus. It can also occur in absence of any other feature of lupus.
Can discoid lupus progress to systemic lupus erythematosus?
Yes. Only a minority (5%) of patients with discoid lupus progress to systemic lupus erythematosus.
How is discoid lupus treated?
Local steroid creams along with oral hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) is generally used. Steroid injection may also be given in the skin lesion. Tacrolimus ointment is also occasionally used for the discoid lesions.
What precautions can be taken to avoid flare-up of these lesions?
Discoid lupus lesions are generally photosensitive. Hence, it makes sense to avoid excessive sunlight. Regular use of sun screens & an umbrella when outdoor can prevent flare-up of these lesions. 
discoid lupus causing hair loss
Discoid lupus causing scarring & patchy hair loss.

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Created on: April 2007
Last updated on: Feb 2015
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