LUPUS ERYTHEMATOSUS (discoid & systemic)
A chronic inflammatory condition caused by an autoimmune disease (when the body's tissues are attacked by its own immune system).
The immune system is designed to fight infectious agents via the production of antibodies. Patients with Lupus produce abnormal antibodies in their blood which target own-body tissues rather than foreign infectious agents. Lupus can cause many and varied diseases. It exists in two forms:
i) Discoid Lupus Erythematosus- when only the skin is involved.
ii) Systemic Lupus Erythematosus - when internal organs are involved
Lupus is more frequently seen in Mongoloid and Negroid women. The disease can affect all age groups but more frequently commences in those aged 20 to 45 years. Its precise cause remain uncertain but genetics, viruses, exposure to ultraviolet light, and various drugs are suspected.
Discoid lupus is usually painless and non-pruritic but often results in cicatrical baldness which may become extensive.