Discoid lupus erythematosus

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Discoid lupus erythematosus
Seal 2012.jpg
Discoid lupus erythematosus lesion on the face of musician Seal.

Discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE) is a chronic skin condition of sores with inflammation and scarring favouring the face, ears, and scalp and at times on other body areas. These lesions develop as a red, inflamed patch with a scaling and crusty appearance. The centre areas may appear lighter in colour with a rim darker than the normal skin.

Discoid lupus erythematosus can be divided into localised, generalised, and childhood discoid lupus erythematosus.[1]


Localised discoid lupus erythematosus typically presents with skin lesions localised above the neck, with favoured sites being the scalp, bridge of the nose, cheeks, above the lips and ears as well as the arms.[1] Another form of discoid lupus erythematosus includes oral discoid. Oral discoid lupus erythematosus results in oral lesions which present themselves as white spots, ulcers and central erythema lesions. Oral discoid lesions most commonly occur on the labial mucosa, vermillion border and buccal mucosa. Atrophy may be observed in some cases. Dentists may be important in establishing the diagnosis before the cutaneous lesions become apparent. Lesions can also arise in other areas such as feet on top and bottom and in the pelvic area.[2]


Treatments for discoid lupus erythematosus include topical steroids, topical tacrolimus, pimecrolimus, and salbutamol creams, oral hydroxychloroquine, and oral acitretin.[3] A systematic review of randomized controlled trials suggests that the topical steroid fluocinonide is more effective than hydrocortisone in the treatment of discoid lupus erythematosus; and oral hydroxychloroquine and oral acitretin are equally effective.[3] Acitretin was associated with more adverse effects.[3]

Society and culture[edit]

The musician Seal has this skin condition. Michael Jackson was also known to have had it.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b James, William; Berger, Timothy; Elston, Dirk (2005). Andrews' Diseases of the Skin: Clinical Dermatology. (10th ed.) Saunders. Chapter 8. ISBN 0-7216-2921-0.
  2. ^ Ranginwala AM, Chalishazar MM, Panja P, Buddhdev KP, Kale HM (2012). "Oral discoid lupus erythematosus: A study of twenty-one cases". J Oral Maxillofac Pathol. 16: 368–73. doi:10.4103/0973-029X.102487. PMC 3519212. PMID 23248469.
  3. ^ a b c Jessop, Sue; Whitelaw, David A; Grainge, Matthew J; Jayasekera, Prativa (2017-05-05). "Drugs for discoid lupus erythematosus". Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD002954.pub3. ISSN 1465-1858.
  4. ^ Finn, Robin (June 5, 1996). "At Lunch With: Seal; From a Crucible Of Early Pain Comes the Gold Of Stardom". The New York Times.

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