Discoid lupus

Discoid lupus

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Credit: CID - ISM/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Discoid lupus. Close-up of lesions on the face of an 18-year-old female patient with discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE). DLE is an autoimmune disease, one in which the body's immune system attacks its own tissues. It can be triggered by a viral infection, although it is thought that hormonal and genetic factors also play a part. It is nine times more common in women than men. In the discoid form, a raised red itchy area appears on the skin. The systemic form is far more serious, affects many parts of the body, and may be fatal. There is no cure for lupus. Treatment is aimed at reducing inflammation and pain.

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