Discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE) is a chronic autoimmune disorder that primarily affects the skin. It is characterized by the presence of scaly, red, raised patches on the skin, typically on the face, scalp, and ears. These patches can cause scarring and discoloration of the skin. Let us understand the risk factors of DLE and the steps to reduce the risk.
Common Risk Factors
Genetics: People with a family history of lupus or other autoimmune disorders are more likely to develop DLE.
Gender: Women are more likely to develop DLE than men.
Age: DLE typically affects people between the ages of 20 and 40.
Race: DLE is more common in people of African, Hispanic, and Asian descent.
Exposure to sunlight: Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun can increase the risk of developing DLE.
Infections: Certain infections, such as HIV and Epstein-Barr virus, can increase the risk of developing DLE.
Medications: Some medications, such as antimalarials, can increase the risk of developing DLE.
If you have any risk factors, there are several steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing DLE. Some of the most important steps you can take include:
- Protect your skin from the sun: Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun can increase the risk of developing DLE. To protect your skin from the sun, you should avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight and wear protective clothing, such as a hat, long-sleeved shirt, and pants, when you are outdoors. Also, use broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
- Avoid medications that can increase your risk of developing DLE
- Get regular medical check-ups: If you have risk factors for DLE, it is a good idea to see your doctor for regular check-ups. Your doctor can monitor your skin for signs of DLE and can provide treatment if necessary.
- Be aware of your symptoms: If you have risk factors for DLE, it’s important to be aware of the symptoms of the condition. The main symptoms of DLE are red, raised patches on the skin that are scaly, crusty, or discolored. If you notice any of these symptoms, you should see your doctor for further evaluation and treatment.
It is important to understand that not everyone who has one or more of these risk factors will develop DLE. If you are concerned about your risk of developing DLE, it is a good idea to talk to your doctor. They can help you to understand your risk factors and advise you on how to reduce your risk of developing the condition.