Discoid lupus erythematosus is an uncommon rash, usually made worse by exposure to sunlight. The term ‘lupus erythematosus’ is applied to a range of related disorders. At one end of the range is ‘systemic’ lupus erythematosus, which can damage internal organs, at the other end of the range is ‘discoid’ lupus erythematosus, which is confined to the skin and does not cause general ill health.

Discoid lupus erythematosus usually affects the face and scalp, but is occasionally more widespread. The rash consists of red scaly patches, which tend to clear eventually, leaving some thinning, scarring or color change in the skin. The scaling can sometimes be quite thick and warty. Some patients have patches on their fingers and toes. When the scalp is involved, hair in the affected area may be permanently lost.

How can Discoid Lupus Erythematosus be treated?

There is no cure for discoid lupus erythematosus, but treatments can help with the symptoms. The most common treatment is topical steroid creams sometimes anti-malarial tablets are prescribed.