Black People with Discoid Lupus Skin Disease Exhibit Increased Skin Damage on Scalp and Ear
In a new study, Black people with discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE), a lupus skin disease characterized by discoid lesions (disc-shaped skin damage) on the body, exhibited increased prevalence of dyspigmentation (abnormal skin color) on the scalp and ear. Scarring alopecia, a form of hair loss, was also observed at an increased prevalence. Ethnic and minority groups, particularly Black people, are more likely to develop DLE than non-Black people with lupus.
Researchers examined a group of 183 people with DLE, 112 participants were Black and 71 were non-Black. Participants’ skin damage was measured using the Cutaneous Lupus Activity and Severity Index (CLASI). Black people had higher damage scores (10.0) than non-Blacks (6.0) and were up to almost 50x more likely to have dyspigmentation on their body. Skin damage to the scalp (82% vs. 48%) and ear (56% vs 35%) was also more common in Black people compared to non-Blacks, respectively, as well as hair loss (79% vs. 56%).
Better understanding of racial differences in skin disease can help improve outcomes and quality of life for people with lupus. People diagnosed with DLE can be examined more closely for scalp and ear damage and for treatment needs.
Learn about skin conditions when living with lupus.
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