Lupus Pernio Pictures, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

Lupus pernio is known as the form of cutaneous sarcoidosis. Sarcoidosis is an inflammatory disease which can occur at any of the organ and it involves multi system granulomas. Lupus pernio can occur 20 to 30% of population. Lupus pernio is a Latin word, lupus means “wolf” and pernio means “chilblain”. It is a condition which resembles a frostbite and apparently looks like scaly plaques or nodules of bluish red in color sometimes may appear purplish in color, hard lesion on touch, and it can occur on any organ like nose, cheeks and ears.

The people of age range 45 to 65 years are more susceptible to lupus pernio. It is most common in women than men. Systemic involvement is not seen in cutaneous sarcoidosis i.e. lupus pernio. Lupus pernio is considered as “great imitators” in the field of dermatology. Lupus pernio can persist for up to two years with temporary treatment sometimes. If lupus pernio occurs on face then it can also cause fine lines on face which looks like aggressive lines treated with plastic surgery. It is most common in Africa and America. The occurrence of Lupus pernio is usually along with long lasting systemic and pulmonary disease.

Lupus Pernio Pictures

Lupus Pernio Pictures, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment


Lupus Pernio Pictures, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

Lupus Pernio Symptoms


Lupus pernia is mostly and usually asymptomatic but some apparent symptoms are as follows:

Lesions appear around nose, cheeks and ears.
Bluish red color patches and plaque appearance
Fine lines appear around lesion showing wrinkles.
The lesions are firm and non-pruritic.
Mild pain and itching
Scarring and depigmentation also occurs.
Lupus pernio resembles a frostbite
Fissuring is common
Burning and sting sensation felt by patient
Deep papules of blue or violet color
Swelling of the site affected by lupus pernia
Discharge from is not seen
Mild scaling due to dryness
The lesions of lupus pernia show ulceration


Lupus Pernio Causes


After so much investigation scientists have come to the point that there is not any specific cause of lupus pernia or unknown till now. As lupus pernia is an inflammatory disease, which is a cell mediated process, associated with immune response to a foreign unknown antigen. As the antigen enter into the body, the defense system of body get activated. The macrophages and T-lymphocytes are activated against antigen and releases cytokines and ultimately cytokines are responsible for the production of granulomas. Some cases are reported with a host reaction to any infective agent like histoplasmosis. Lupus pernio itself is non-infectious.

Lupus Pernio Treatment


The treatment goal of lupus pernia is to cover the lesion and improve the appearance. Prevention of scar appearance after cure. The treatment therapy chosen totally depends upon the systemic symptoms severity.

The treatment options include:

  • Laser treatment e.g. pulsed dye and CO2 lasers (via laser treatment the fine lines are also treated)
  • Intralesional Steroid injections (which are injected in the lesion)
  • Topical corticosteroids (applied on surface)
  • Plastic surgery is also referred if the scars left after treatment.
  • Systemic therapies are as follows:
  • Systemic corticosteroids are used 
  • Hydroxychloroquine
  • Methotrexate
  • Biological agents are also used like
  • Adalimumab (mostly used)
  • Infliximab
Lupus Pernio Pictures, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment Lupus Pernio Pictures, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment Reviewed by Simon Albert on March 27, 2017 Rating: 5
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