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Dermatology Online Journal

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Cutaneous erythematous lupus with acneiform presentation


We present a 57-year-old woman with cutaneous lupus erythematosus (CLE), initially treated as acne. She noted blemishes, including nodules and facial swelling for nine months associated with discrete itching of the ears. Examination showed multiple malar nodules, comedones, pustules, atrophic scars, and hyperpigmentation. A biopsy was performed and revealed atrophic epidermis, discrete hyperkeratosis, vacuolar degeneration of basal layer, basal membrane zone with upper dermal lymphohistiocytic inflammatory infiltrate and deep perivascular and peri-adenexal lymphocytes, vascular ectasia, and mucin deposits. The acneiform presentation of CLE is commonly underdiagnosed due to the similarity with inflammatory acne. Histopathologic diagnostic in acneiform lupus is of extreme importance. This case emphasizes the relevance of knowing the notable variety of presentations of CLE and considering this diagnosis.

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