Does Discoid Lupus Ever Go Away in Dogs?

by Victoria Lee Blackstone
    As an immune system disease, discoid lupus never really goes away.

    As an immune system disease, discoid lupus never really goes away.

    Apple Tree House/Lifesize/Getty Images

    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.

    Treating and Living With Discoid Lupus

    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.

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    About the Author

    Victoria Lee Blackstone is a horticulturist who propagates heirloom and native plants for her nursery. She has authored research-based scientific/technical papers, plant care sheets and magazine and newspaper articles. Blackstone studied botany and microbiology at Clemson University and is a former University of Georgia Extension Master Gardener Coordinator.

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