Quality of life in cutaneous lupus erythematosus

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2011 May;64(5):849-58. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2010.02.008. Epub 2011 Mar 12.


Background: Little is known about quality of life in patients with cutaneous lupus erythematosus.

Objective: We sought to determine how cutaneous lupus affects quality of life and which independent variables are associated with poor quality of life.

Methods: A total of 157 patients with cutaneous lupus completed surveys related to quality of life, including the Skindex-29 and the Short Form-36.

Results: Quality of life in cutaneous lupus is severely impaired, particularly with respect to emotional well-being. Patients with cutaneous lupus have worse quality of life than those with other common dermatologic conditions, such as acne, nonmelanoma skin cancer, and alopecia. With respect to mental health status, patients with cutaneous lupus have similar or worse scores than patients with hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus, recent myocardial infarction, and congestive heart failure. Factors related to poor quality of life include female gender, generalized disease, severe disease, distribution of lesions, and younger age.

Limitations: The study was done at a single referral-only center.

Conclusion: Patients with cutaneous lupus have very impaired quality of life, particularly from an emotional perspective.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Status Indicators
  • Humans
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Cutaneous*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life*
  • Severity of Illness Index