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Discoid lupus, also called discoid lupus erythematosus, is an autoimmune disease characterized by the appearance of round, red and scaly skin lesions, being noticed mainly on the face and back of the neck, and which can become more evident when the person exposes himself to the sun.
These lesions arise due to the change in the immune system that acts against the body's own he althy cells, resulting in skin inflammation and the development of symptoms. Learn more about lupus.
It is important that the lesions are evaluated by the dermatologist, as it is possible for tests to be carried out to help diagnose discoid lupus and, thus, the best treatment and care that must be followed on a daily basis can be indicated..
Symptoms of discoid lupus
Symptoms of discoid lupus usually appear mainly on the face, neck and scalp, the main ones being:
- Red, round, plaque-shaped lesions;
- Formation of crusts in the lesions, in addition to being scaly;
- Appearance of scars after treatment of the lesion;
- After the lesion disappears, there may be areas without hair on the skin or hair, if it happens on the scalp;
- Increased skin sensitivity to the sun.
In the presence of lesions possibly indicative of discoid lupus, it is important that the dermatologist is consulted so that the diagnosis can be made and the appropriate treatment started.
The diagnosis of this type of lupus is usually made through the ANA test, however, as the autoimmune and inflammatory reaction is restricted to the skin, it is common for the result of this test to be negative or have a low titer.Thus, the doctor may recommend performing a biopsy of the lesion, in addition to performing a blood count and urinalysis to assess the presence of blood and proteins in the urine.
The causes of discoid lupus are not very well understood, however the symptoms can be triggered by a combination of genetic and environmental factors that favor a more aggressive response of the immune system against the body itself. In some people, exposure to the sun and/or smoking may favor the appearance of discoid lupus lesions.
How is the treatment
Treatment for discoid lupus should be indicated by the doctor according to the characteristics of the lesions, being mainly indicated that the person uses sunscreen directly, since the sun can worsen the lesions. In addition, the use of ointments and creams containing corticosteroids may be indicated, which must be applied directly to the lesions according to the doctor's indication.
The use of anti-malarial and immunosuppressive drugs may also be indicated by the doctor, which may also be useful to treat and prevent new lesions of discoid lupus.