diseases

DISCOID LUPUS<


Introduction:
Discoid lupus erythematous (DLE) is a chronic skin condition of sores with inflammation and scarring of face, ears, and scalp and at times on other body areas.

Lupus is the Latin word for wolf and it implies that the lesion resembles a wolf's bite. The skin lesions are characterized by photosensitivity, erythema, scaling, follicular plugging and telangiectasias. Lupus can cause disease of the skin, heart, lungs, kidneys, joints, and nervous system. When only the skin is involved, the condition is called discoid lupus.


Causes:

. The exact cause is unknown, but it is thought to be autoimmune with the body's immune system incorrectly attacking normal skin. This condition tends to run in families.
. Lupus is more common in women than in men.
. Many cases are made worse by ultraviolet light, which alters the DNA in the skin, making it more "allergic.
. Genetics and your environment both are responsible for causing Lupus. People with an inherited predisposition for lupus may only develop the disease when they come into contact with something in the environment that can trigger lupus, such as a medication or a virus.

Signs and Symptoms:
. Discoid lupus causes scarring, rash on the face, and may also result in severe hair loss and scarring of the scalp. Butterfly shaped characteristic reddish rash appears over cheeks and nose
. Discoid lupus erythematous affects only the skin. People with discoid lupus, also called cutaneous lupus, experience a circular rash on the face, neck and scalp
. Scalp involvement may cause itching, redness and peeling. Patches of baldness may occur. Rashes may affect any part of the body, but other frequent sites are the neck palms of the hands, under the elbows and the soles of the feet. Small blister-like lesions may be seen around the tips of the fingers. Few people with discoid lupus may develop systemic lupus erythematosus, though it isn't possible to predict who will develop the more serious form of lupus
. Anxiety
. Hair loss

Diagnosis:
. Butterfly shaped characteristic reddish rash appears over cheeks and nose. The lesions can occur on scalp and at times on other body areas
. A skin biopsy needs to be done to confirm the diagnosis because other conditions can look like discoid lupus erythematosus
. Complete blood count: Results may indicate whether you have anemia which commonly occurs in Lupus. A low white blood cell or platelet count may also occur
. Erythrocyte sedimentation rate. This blood test determines the rate at which red blood cells settle to the bottom of a tube in an hour. It may be elevated if you have lupus, another inflammatory condition or an infection
. Urinalysis may show an increased protein level or red blood cells in the urine, which may occur if lupus has affected your kidneys
. Antinuclear antibody (ANA) test. A positive test for the presence of these antibodies produced by your immune system indicates a stimulated immune system, which is common in lupus and other autoimmune diseases. A positive ANA doesn't always mean that you have lupus, however. ANA levels can be elevated if you have an infection or if you're taking certain medications

Complications:
Despite the severity of the skin rash discoid lupus paradoxically produces little or no internal disease. It is commonly agreed that about 5% of patients with discoid lupus develop a 'systemic' attack at some time in their lives.

Tips to cope up with Discoid Lupus:
. Avoid the sun
. Use sunscreen especially after swimming and throughout the day if being exposed
. Fix sunscreens to windows in the car or at home

Homoeopathic treatment:
. In homoeopathy, constitutional medicines are prescribed, which will reduce the severity of the lesions
. It will also reduce the inflammatory process and halt the flare ups
. The medicines will prevent the formation of the disfiguring scars
. Homoeopathic constitutional medicines are prescribed not only on the basis of the signs and symptoms, but also according to your physical and mental make up. Thus, they affect your entire body and not only your skin

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