2) Discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE):
- The term "discoid" refers to the disk-shaped lesions of the rash.
- The rash occur s mainly on sun-exposed sites.
- The lesions develop slowly and heal over several months, and may cause scarring.
3) Subacute lupus erythematosus (SCLE):
- SCLE is highly photosensitive.
- It usually shows up as many red, circular shapes on the chest, back and arms.
- It is often a little scaly, resembling psoriasis.
- This form of lupus is particularly associated with antibodies in the blood to the Ro protein (mentioned above).
- SCLE tends to heal over weeks or months and is usually non-scarring.
- It frequently comes back after more sun exposure.
Both SCLE and DLE may occur on their own without the presence of systemic lupus.
And, although systemic lupus occasionally develops in people who first have DLE or SCLE, it tends to be a milder illness than the usual form of SLE.
How can you protect yourself against ultraviolet light?
Avoid Mid-Day Sun
Whatever the weather, avoidance of tropical sun, or the sun in the middle of the day, is the first line of defence. This action alone may reduce the need for other treatments.
- However, avoidance of the tropical or mid-day sun may not be practical in all situations or for all people.
- If you must be out in the sun, broad-brimmed hats and tightly-woven, loose-fitting clothing with long sleeves and long pants are very effective.
The use of sunscreening creams forms the next and best-known part of sun protection.
- These preparations are either chemicals which absorb UV light, or pigments such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide which scatter it.
- The sun protection factor (SPF) displayed on sunscreens indicates the number of times skin damage is reduced when the screen is applied, regularly and liberally, before and throughout exposure (see below). This protection relates mostly to UVB, which probably is the most important cause of lupus-related skin disease. But, because the exact degree of the UVA effect is uncertain, broad-spectrum sunscreens that also protect against UVA are therefore most effective, if a little less ideal cosmetically.