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Discoid Lupus Erythematosus – Pictures, Treatment, Symptoms

What is Discoid Lupus Erythematosus?

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Discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE) is a medical condition that affects the person’s skin. It is also categorized as an autoimmune and chronic kind of disorder which is common in women. People with DLE, when exposed to the sun, have exacerbated symptoms.

According to studies, people who have DLE will later develop systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Compared to SLE, DLE is less serious and can be divided into three categories: generalized, childhood, and localized DLE. Among the three categories, the generalized type is the one that is less common. When a person has localized DLE, he or she will manifest skin lesions. Childhood DLE will produce the same symptoms as those found in adults with DLE.

Discoid Lupus Erythematosus Symptoms

People suffering from DLE have usually reported to have skin rashes and inflammation. The symptoms associated with DLE vary from one person to another, and they can occur occasionally or daily. The symptoms linked to DLE include the folllowing:

  • Scars from lesion which may become permanent
  • Chest pain
  • Pale lips
  • Sun sensitivity
  • Palpitation or rapid heart rate
  • Irregular heart rate
  • Red plaques that appear on the skin, particularly on the forehead, ears, nose, and cheeks
  • Red patches on skin which are crusty or scaly in nature
  • Hair loss
  • Episodes of breathing difficulty
  • Itchy feeling
  • Wart-like lesions
  • Surface scaling due to keratin
  • Arthalgia (pain in joints)
  • Blocked follicles due to keratin buildup
  • Development of new lupus plaques
  • Reticulate telangiectasia (skin blotching), particularly in the leg region
  • Chilblains
  • Raynaud’s phenomenon

When a person experiences one or some of the mentioned symptoms, it is highly recommended to consult a physician receive proper treatment.

Discoid Lupus Erythematosus Causes

Currently, the cause of why DLE is being experienced by some is still unknown or idiopathic in nature. The only known information about DLE is that it is an autoimmune kind of disorder, i.e., the person’s immune system has erroneously attack his or her own cells , leading to its destruction and to the person’s illness. Other research studies have proven that gene mutation plays a role in DLE.

Discoid Lupus Erythematosus Treatment

It is important to emphasize that DLE has no cure. Treatment management that is mentioned below is given to control the symptoms associated with DLE until the disease condition can improve on its own, usually attained after a person has undergone treatment management for a few months or even years. The following treatments are suggested for people who suffer from DLE:

Systemic therapy treatment

Here a person with DLE is given a course of oral corticosteroids  in systemic doses.

Topical therapy treatment

Under this therapy, people with DLE are advised to:

  • apply sunscreen to sun-exposed skin areas
  • apply corticosteroid ointment to affected skin areas

Laser and excision therapy treatment

People with DLE can also opt for laser and excision therapy which is done to remove scarred and burned-out lesions.

Other treatment options include

    • Antimalarial drugs
    • Psoriasis medications
    • DMARDs (disease modifying anti rheumatic) drugs
    • Plastic wrapping of the skin after steroid application

It should be stressed that people with DLE should avoid excessive sun exposure as much as possible since it is known to exacerbate DLE symptoms. They can do so by applying sunscreen even on cold or cloudy days. Furthermore, it is advisable to use sun-protective equipment such as hats, umbrellas and the like and to protect their skin at all times especially when they are outdoors. Moreover, it is recommended to use fluorescent lights that emit less or no ultraviolet radiation.

Long-term medication treatment

The long-term medication treatment needs follow-up check-ups which are done at regular intervallic periods. People with DLE will undergo routine laboratory exams such as urinalysis, complete blood count, and renal function tests. These are necessary to check the DLE disease condition.

Pictures of Discoid Lupus Erythematosus

Discoid Lupus Erythematosus
Discoid Lupus Erythematosus picture
Discoid Lupus Erythematosus pictures

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