In the most common form, discoid LE, unsightly red scaly patches develop which leave postinflammatory pigmentation and white scars. It may be localised or widespread.
- Discoid LE predominantly affects the cheeks, nose and ears, but sometimes involves the upper back, V of neck, and backs of hands.
- Hypertrophic LE results in thickened and warty skin resembling viral warts or skin cancers.
- Rarely, discoid LE occurs on the palms and/or soles (palmoplantar LE).
- If the hair follicles are involved, they are first plugged with adherent scale and then bald areas can develop. If the follicles are destroyed, the bald patches are permanent (scarring alopecia).
- Discoid LE may affect the lips and inside the mouth, causing ulcers and scaling. These lesions may predispose to squamous cell carcinoma.
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