LUPUS ERYTHEMATOSUS, DISCOID
DESCRIPTIONDiscoid lupus erythematosus is a skin disorder. This is different from systemic lupus erythematosus, a connective-tissue disease that affects many different organs. About 1 in 20 persons with discoid lupus progresses to systemic lupus. Only the skin of the face, scalp, ears, neck, and arms is involved.
Appropriate health care includes:
Self-care after diagnosis.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMSPlaques are 1cm to 4cm in diameter and have clearly defined borders.
They may appear anywhere on the child's face, but the cheeks and jawline are the most common sites. Some people describe them as "butterfly" lesions when two lesions of unequal size appear on both sides of the nose.
Lesions sometimes appear on the child's scalp with localized patches of hair loss.
Lesions scar as they heal.
Plaques (red, raised skin lesions) with the following characteristics:
Unknown, but probably an autoimmune disorder.
Exposure to sunlight.
PREVENTING COMPLICATIONS OR RECURRENCENo specific preventive measures. Protection from sunlight decreases the severity.
Your own observation of symptoms.
Medical history and physical exam by a doctor.
Laboratory blood studies and biopsy of your child's skin lesions to rule out systemic lupus erythematosus.
HOME CAREInstructions for your child:
Don't go outdoors between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the sun's ultraviolet light is strongest. If you can't avoid exposure to bright sunlight, wear protective clothing and maximum-protection sun-screen products. Avoid fluorescent lighting, if possible.
See your doctor for regular checkups, even when in remission.
MEDICATIONYour doctor may prescribe:
--Injections of triamcinolone into lesions or hydroxychloroquine by mouth to shrink lesions.
--Topical steroids (occasionally) to decrease redness of your child's lesions.
See Medications section for information regarding medicines your doctor may prescribe.
DIET & FLUIDS
No special diet.
OK TO GO TO SCHOOL?When appetite returns and alertness, strength, and feeling of well-being will allow.
CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF
Your child has symptoms of discoid lupus erythematosus.
The following occurs during treatment:
--Lesions on the child's hands.
--Swelling, redness, pain in joints.