Discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE)




A type of lupus that is limited to the skin and presents as coin-shaped lesions on the skin form, either localized (on the face, ears, scalp) or disseminated (above and below the neck).

Common Symptoms

Red, inflamed patches with a scaling and crusty appearance, skin peeling, thickening of the scalp and patches of hair loss.

Coexisting Diseases and Conditions

Diabetes mellitus, scarring alopecia, and vasculitis. DLE has been identified to occur as a manifestation of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in about 20% of patients.

Risk Factors

Females aged 40-60, African Americans, and environmental factors including exposure to UV rays and smoking.


  1. Article Sources and Footnotes
    1. Böckle, B. C., & Sepp, N. T. (2015). Smoking is highly associated with discoid lupus erythematosus and lupus erythematosus tumidus: Analysis of 405 patients. Lupus, 24(7), 669–674. https://doi.org/10.1177/0961203314559630

    2. Kuechle, M. K., & Elkon, K. B. (2007). Shining light on lupus and UV. Arthritis Research & Therapy, 9(1), 101. https://doi.org/10.1186/ar2100

    3. McDaniel, B., Sukumaran, S., & Tanner, L. S. (2021). Discoid Lupus Erythematosus. In StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK493145/

    4. Santiago-Casas, Y., Vilá, L. M., McGwin, G., Cantor, R. S., Petri, M., Ramsey-Goldman, R., Reveille, J. D., Kimberly, R. P., Alarcón, G. S., & Brown, E. E. (2012). Association of Discoid Lupus with Clinical Manifestations and Damage Accrual in PROFILE: A Multiethnic Lupus Cohort. Arthritis Care & Research, 64(5), 704–712. https://doi.org/10.1002/acr.21581

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