Current Rheumatology Reports

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 300–307 | Cite as

Treatment of Cutaneous Lupus

  • Aileen Y. Chang
  • Victoria P. WerthEmail author


Cutaneous lupus erythematosus (CLE) is an autoimmune inflammatory skin disease seen in patients with or without systemic lupus erythematosus. The management of CLE includes treatment and prevention of lesions as well as routine assessment for systemic disease. Treatment options include topical and systemic therapies. Topical therapies include corticosteroids and calcineurin inhibitors. Systemic therapies generally fall under one of three categories: antimalarials, immunomodulators (eg, dapsone and thalidomide), and immunosuppressives (eg, methotrexate and mycophenolate). Evidence for the treatment of CLE has been limited by few prospective studies and the lack of a validated outcome measure (until recently). There is good evidence to support the use of topical steroids and calcineurin inhibitors, although most of these trials have not used placebo or vehicle controls. There have been no randomized, placebo-controlled trials evaluating systemic therapies in the treatment of CLE.


Cutaneous lupus erythematosus Treatment Topical steroids Topical calcineurin inhibitors Antimalarials Immunomodulators Immunosuppressives Cutaneous lupus erythematosus disease area and severity index CLASI 



This material is based upon work supported by the National Institutes of Health, including NIH K24-AR 18 02207 (Werth), and a grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation to the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine to fund Clinical Research Fellow Ms. Chang.


Dr. Werth’s institution has received royalties for the licensure of the CLASI. Ms. Chang reported no potential conflicts of interest relevant to this article.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: ••Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC (outside the USA) 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Dermatology, Perelman Center for Advanced MedicineUniversity of Pennsylvania School of MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA

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