A Look At Discoid Lupus Erythematosus
By Tobias Higgens
This form of lupus mostly affects women from 18 to 50 years. The cases of men suffering from discoid lupus erythematosus are very rare. The racial factor seems to be decisive: the majority of patients are black American women and the symptoms are much more severe in their case. We cannot be certain about the real causes of this disease but there are several risk factors like the hormonal factors (such as estrogen excess), genetic factors and environmental factors (antibiotic long term treatment). The genetic factors have a particularly increased influence on the apparition of discoid lupus erythematosus compared to the other lupus forms.
Discoid lupus erythematosus appears under the form of large size lesions with circular aspect. Like all types of lupus, it also has an auto immune character: the immune system doesn’t protect the body from the viruses or bacteria but attacks its healthy tissues, which causes skin lesions. Long term solar exposure significantly worsens discoid lupus. The neck, face, arms and scalp are the most affected areas in which the lesions appear. But it is not compulsory for them to be the only parts: lesions may also appear on the back, legs or chest, which suggests the evolution into systemic lupus erythematosus.
Systemic lupus erythematosus