Discoid lupus erythematosus is an autoimmune skin condition whereby the body’s immune system attacks healthy skin tissue. Unlike systemic lupus erythematosus, which attacks the entire body and internal organs, discoid lupus typically targets only the hairless section of the nose. While treatment is available for discoid lupus, it addresses only the symptoms. Treatment is often necessary for life, along with other precautions.
Discoid lupus targets the skin of the nose, causing loss of pigmentation. The normally black nose fades to gray or even pink. The loss of pigmentation is accompanied by scaly and crusty sores on the nose and nasal tissue. These crusty sores often crack and bleed. Treatment options include topical ointments such as corticosteroid ointments and vitamin E. In severe cases, oral corticosteroids or gold salts are often necessary. Sunlight seems to make the condition worse, so it can be necessary to limit outside time during peak sunlight hours or apply a canine sunscreen to the nose.
- Apple Tree House/Lifesize/Getty Images