The purpose of this chapter is to improve the participant's skill in the clinical diagnosis of the cutaneous manifestations of lupus erythematosus (LE). Discussion will focus on characteristic disease patterns without an exhaustive review of obscure variations. Laboratory parameters that support the clinical findings will be discussed, along with a review of current therapy. The material on LE will conclude with comparisons between cutaneous LE and other common dermatitides that can be confused with both discoid and systemic LE.
Cutaneous lesions can occur in all of the major forms of LE. In classic presentation, each form is quite different from the others. However, considerable overlap can occur and a final classification of any solitary case will depend on a composite of data from history, skin examination, general examination, and laboratory tests. This chapter will emphasize the morphologic differences, but the reader must be wary that these are not mutually exclusive.
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