What is the DLE?
Discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE) is an autoimmune and chronic disease that predominantly affects young people, especially women. It affects tissues and organs, causing an immune response against the tissues themselves. It affects the skin, joints, internal organs, lungs and brain.
The most common form of lupus is systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
What causes of lupus erythematosus?
Doctors have not yet found the causes that lead to the development of this disease. In some cases there is a genetic predisposition. In addition, environmental factors, drugs, infections and/or hormones are thought to play a role in the development of lupus.
Lupus may coexist with other autoimmune diseases such as Sjögren’s syndrome, haemolytic anaemia, thyroiditis and idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP).
What are the symptoms of the disease?
The symptoms of lupus are many and varied, which makes it difficult for the responsible doctor to diagnose the disease.
Some of the symptoms include the following:
- Pain in the joints
- Butterfly rash: a rash resembling a butterfly-shaped burn that spreads over the entire surface of the face.
- Nail changes: nails break easily or may even fall off. They may also become discoloured and/or have red or blue spots at the base.
- Fever and fatigue
- Sensitivity to light
- Hair loss: thinning and loss of hair in large areas of the head. Hair becomes thinner. Hair loss is frequent and sometimes severe. However, once the condition has stabilised, the hair usually grows back if scarring has not already occurred in these areas.
- Raynaud’s phenomenon: the fingers and toes may start to hurt, become numb and sensitive to low temperatures or emotional stress.
- Kidney problems