Cutaneous lupus erythematosus: a review

Dermatol Clin. 2002 Jul;20(3):373-85, v. doi: 10.1016/s0733-8635(02)00016-5.


This article will review and update information about the pathogenesis, clinical presentation, diagnosis, and treatment of cutaneous lupus erythematosus. Lupus erythematosus (LE) can present as a skin eruption, with or without systemic disease. Cutaneous LE is subdivided into chronic cutaneous LE, subacute cutaneous LE and acute LE. The prevalence of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is 17-48/100,000 population worldwide. Skin disease is one of the most frequent clinical complaints of patients suffering from SLE. It has been found to occur in up to 70% of patients during the course of the disease. The most frequent mucocutaneous manifestations of SLE are malar rash (40%), alopecia (24%), and oral ulcers (19%). It has been suggested that risk factors that are more likely to signal transition of cutaneous into systemic LE are high ANA titers (> 1:320) and the presence of arthralgias. CLE patients who exhibit these symptoms should be monitored closely, since they may be at increased risk to develop SLE.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Cutaneous* / diagnosis
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Cutaneous* / etiology
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Cutaneous* / pathology
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Cutaneous* / therapy
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Discoid / diagnosis
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Discoid / pathology
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Discoid / therapy
  • Risk Factors