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  • Discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE) is an inflammatory scarring alopecia.  It is an autoimmune condition and a type of chronic skin lupus.

  • It presents as a sharply-demarcated red, scaly plaque with a central depressed scar, central skin lightening, follicle scale plug, and a surrounding dark patch. 

  • It occurs 4-5 times more common in black women compared to white women.  Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) may develop in 5-25% of people with DLE.

  • It may be associated with other autoimmune conditions and increased risk for squamous cell carcinoma. 

  • Management includes the use of sun protection, anti-inflammatory medications (i.e. steroids (topical/ oral/ injection), tacrolimus, methotrexate, etc.)


- Gro¨nhagen CM et al. Increased risk of cancer among 3663 patients with cutaneous lupus erythematosus: a Swedish nationwide cohort study. Br J Dermatol 2012;166:1053e9.

- Jessop S et al.  Drugs for discoid lupus erythematosus.  Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2017 May 5;5:CD002954.

- McDaniel B, Tanner LS.  Lupus Erythematosus, Discoid.  StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2018 Jan 2018 Sep 26.