A case of generalized discoid lupus erythematosus: successful treatment with imiquimod cream 5%

Adv Ther. 2006 Sep-Oct;23(5):787-92. doi: 10.1007/BF02850319.


Discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE) is the most common form of chronic cutaneous lupus erythematosus. Classic DLE lesions begin as red-purple macules, papules, or small plaques and rapidly develop a hyperkeratotic surface. Most patients with untreated classic DLE lesions suffer indolent progression to large areas of cutaneous dystrophy and scarring alopecia that can be psychosocially devastating. A 44-year old male patient presented to the clinic with erythematous scaly patches that began on his nose 1 y before. His face was most affected, however, lesions were also noted on his scalp, ears, and limbs. Histopathologic examination verified a diagnosis of DLE. Laboratory examinations and consultations revealed no signs of systemic involvement. Imiquimod cream 5% was applied to the lesions once a day 3 times a week. After 20 applications, entire lesions regressed significantly. Imiquimod cream 5% may represent an alternative treatment method for patients with DLE.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / administration & dosage
  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / therapeutic use*
  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Adult
  • Aminoquinolines / administration & dosage
  • Aminoquinolines / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Imiquimod
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Discoid / drug therapy*
  • Male


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Aminoquinolines
  • Imiquimod