Subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus (SCLE) 4.33/5 (6)

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Subacute cutaneous lupus (SCLE). Greenhouse CM, 2014. CC BY-NC-SA 3.0


Subacute cutaneous lupus (SCLE) is a subset of lupus erythematosus in which rash and antibody SSA (Ro) is typical. About 10% have at the same time Systemic lupus (SLE).


Rashes, especially in light / sun-exposed areas of the skin such as on the neck, neck, upper body, forearms are common, but not particularly on the face

  • The rash is red-blue in color and varies in shape and intensity
  • Typical start is small reddish, easily scaly dots that develop into either Psoriasis-like or circular, round shapes. The edges of the rash are red and sometimes rind-like.



Subacute lupus (SCLE) triggered by a drug (ranibizumab). Andric M, 2013. CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

Medical Examinations

The rash of SCLE is different from psoriasis, allergy, insect stings and viral diseases

  • However, SCLE can be triggered by drugs (please see also Drug-triggered lupus here )
  • Blood tests show typical results in ANA (anti-nuclear factors) and SSA (Ro) (70-90%) - antibody
  • SCLE rarely attacks internal organs


Avoid direct sunlight. Creams containing cortisone are used for short periods. Hydrochlorochloroquine (Plaquenil) tablets have a preventive effect. In case of high disease activity, transient treatment with Prednisolone may be necessary, other immunosuppressive drugs are rarely necessary in the long run, but in acute or poor periods are used. Prednisone og Imurel (azathioprine)

Medical prognosis

Internal organs are rarely attacked. The disease activity often becomes less over time. Follow-up takes place cheeses at the dermatologist and general practitioner


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