Subacute Cutaneous Lupus

Subacute Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus

Subacute cutaneous lesions may appear as areas of red scaly skin with distinct edges or as red, ring-shaped lesions. The lesions occur most commonly on the sun-exposed areas of the arms, shoulders, neck, and body. The lesions usually do not itch or scar, but they can become discolored. Subacute cutaneous lesions are also photosensitive so preventive measures should be taken when spending time outdoors or under fluorescent lights.

Systemic treatments for mild to moderate disease

  • Corticosteroids — short term
  • Antimalarials
  • Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil®)
  • Chloroquine (Aralen®)
  • Quinacrine (available from compounding pharmacies only)
  • Retinoids
  • Synthetic forms of vitamin A—isotretinoin (Accutane®), acitretin (Soriatane®)
  • Diaminodiphenylsulfone (Dapsone®)
  • Sulfones


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