Lupus is a problematic and a debilitating condition that can affect different parts of the human body such as skin, blood, joints and kidney. In this condition the immune system of the body attacks the cells and tissue in the body and this can result in inflammation, pain and damage to some of the organs. There are three different types of lupus and these are systemic lupus, discoid lupus and drug induced lupus.
Discoid lupus erthematosus or simply discoid lupus as it is called is a kind of lupus that results in chronic skin eruptions among those suffering from this condition. If these eruptions are left untreated then it can result in scarring and disfigurement that can be permanent.
The exact reasons for discoid lupus are not entirely known. However it is interesting to know that among the individuals suffering from discoid lupus erythematosus as many as 60% are women. These women are in late the twenties or may be older. This type of lupus is quite rare among children. In discoid lupus erythematosus lesions can be seen. These are red and scaling plaques that have follicular plugging along with central atrophy.
These form of lesions with raised edges along with sunken centers look like coins. These lesions in discoid lupus can normally occur anywhere on a person’s body. However they are normally observed on the neck, face, ears, scalp and the arms. These may also be seen on any other parts that are exposed to the sunlight. These lesions may resolve totally or they may also cause hyper pigmentation or hypo pigmentation along with atrophy and also scarring.
The facial plaque in some cases can assume the butterfly shape as seen in another type of lupus. In discoid lupus the hair also becomes brittle and patches of hair can simply fall out. Such alopecia may be permanent. Before diagnosis of this form of lupus is made the patient history is taken and the rash itself is carefully examined.
Patients suffering from discoid lupus should avoid excessive exposure to sunlight for long periods of time. Likewise exposure to reflected sunlight and also fluorescent light should also be avoided. It is important for these individuals to wear protective clothing and use sunscreen. Such individuals should also avoid going out when sunlight is intense or harsh and any changes in the existing lesions should be promptly brought to the notice of the doctor. The treatment for this condition includes topical and intralesional along with systemic medication.