Discoid lupus must be just like “regular” lupus, right? I mean, lupus is lupus, no? You’d think so, but like most things within Rheumatology, it rarely makes that much sense. When one speaks of “lupus” they are usually talking about SLE or Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. SLE is a systemic (affects the entire body), autoimmune condition. Discoid Lupus, or DLE, is a condition solely of the skin. One can certainly have “discoid lesions” when they have SLE and we are always on alert for the development of SLE, but rest assured, they are two different entities.
The name “discoid” stems from the description of the typical rash seen with DLE: a disc shaped, red patch with a scale and with scaring. It is common to worry about “progression to SLE.” Thankfully, development of SLE is the exception, rather than the rule. Although dermatologists are often the main caregivers of DLE, a full evaluation by a rheumatologist can provide insight and peace of mind.[Read more…] about Discoid Lupus Explained