Medical Dermatology

Lupus Erythematosus

Lupus Erythematosus (LE) is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the body’s cells and tissue, resulting in inflammation and tissue damage.

  • Primarily affects young women, although men can be diagnosed with lupus.
  • SLE can affect any part of the body, but often harms the joints, skin, lungs, blood vessels and brain/nervous system; however, sometimes lupus affects only the skin.
  • Lupus is treatable, but there is currently no cure.
  • Standard therapy has been limited to corticosteroids, antimalarials, and immunosuppressive drugs. Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine sulfate) is currently the only FDA approved antimalarial agent for treating lupus erythematosus.
  • SLE is known as a "great imitator", because its symptoms often mimic other illnesses. In the United States alone, an estimated 270,000 to 1.5 million people have lupus.
  • World-wide, a conservative estimate states that over 5 million people have lupus.