Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus

What is the current understanding regarding the immunopathogenesis of cutaneous lupus erythematosus? Read about the latest efforts to define CLE, as well as available treatments, in this update.

“Lupus” is Latin for “wolf”. The disease derives its name from the rash ostensibly resembling skin being bitten off by a wolf.

Given the reported success of Tofacitinib in the (off-label) treatment of mucocutaneous conditions like Psoriasis, Atopic Eczema, Vitiligo, Alopecia Universalis and Ulcerative Colitis, it will not surprise me should it turn out that it is also effective for Cutaneous Lupus, Dermatomyositis or even Scleroderma.

MAUI, HAWAII – Before concluding that a patient’s erythematous facial butterfly rash is an open and shut case of acute cutaneous lupus erythematosus, consider…|By BRUCE JANCIN

Not every “butterfly” rash on the cheeks is Lupus. Far more common causes include Seborrhoeic Dermatitis and Rosacea.

Thalidomide treatment in cutaneous lesions of systemic lupus erythematosus: a multicenter study in China

Thalidomide is effective for treating severe cutaneous lupus patients. The aim of this study was to observe the optimum effective and maintenance doses of…

Thalidomide was the “bad” drug which caused amelia (born without limbs) in babies whose mothers took it as an anti-vomiting medication when they were pregnant.
It has gradually been “rehabilitated” for use in treating certain cancers and inflammatory conditions, due to its anti-angiogenic and anti-Th1 (TNF, IL12) effects respectively.
However, it remains problematic:
1) females of child-bearing age need to be counselled against pregnancy;
2) peripheral neuropathy, constipation and drowsiness are common side-effects;
3) it doesn’t come cheap, and its newer analogues cost even more.