Research in Clinical Dermatology

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Rapid Communication - Research in Clinical Dermatology (2023) Volume 6, Issue 3

Dermatological manifestations of autoimmune diseases

Jun Yang *

State Key Laboratory of Cardiovascular Disease, Beilishi Road 167, Xicheng District, Beijing, 100037, China

*Corresponding Author:
Jun Yang
State Key Laboratory of Cardiovascular Disease
Beilishi Road 167, Xicheng District, Beijing, 100037
E-mail: E-mail:

Received: 20-Apr -2023, Manuscript No. AARCD-23-104718; Editor assigned: 21-Apr -2023, PreQC No. AARCD-23-104718 (PQ); Reviewed: 05-May -2023, QC No. AARCD-23-104718; Revised: 08-May -2023, Manuscript No. AARCD-23-104718 (R); Published: 17-May -2023, DOI: 10.4718/aarcd-6.3.146

Citation: YangJ. Dermatological manifestations of autoimmune diseases. Res Clin Dermatol. 2023;6(3):146

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Autoimmune diseases are a group of disorders characterized by an aberrant immune response, wherein the body's immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells and tissues. These diseases can affect various organs and systems, including the skin. Dermatological manifestations are common in many autoimmune conditions and often serve as important diagnostic clues. This article provides an overview of the dermatological manifestations seen in autoimmune diseases, highlighting their clinical features and significance. Cutaneous lupus erythematosus (CLE) is a subset of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) that primarily affects the skin. CLE can present in different forms, including acute, subacute, and chronic. Common skin manifestations include a characteristic butterfly rash on the face, photosensitivity, discoid lesions, and oral ulcers. These cutaneous findings can occur in isolation or in combination with systemic symptoms, aiding in the diagnosis and management of lupus [1].

Dermatomyositis is an autoimmune disease characterized by muscle inflammation and skin involvement. The cutaneous manifestations of dermatomyositis include a heliotrope rash, Gottron's papules, nailfold changes, and a unique skin rash known as "shawl sign." These skin findings often precede or coincide with muscle weakness and can assist in early diagnosis and monitoring disease activity. Pemphigus comprises a group of blistering autoimmune diseases affecting the skin and mucous membranes. The two main types are pemphigus vulgaris (PV) and pemphigus foliaceus (PF). PV is characterized by intraepidermal blistering, predominantly involving the mucosal surfaces and the scalp. PF typically presents with superficial blistering restricted to the upper layers of the skin. The development of characteristic erosions and flaccid blisters aids in the differentiation and diagnosis of pemphigus [2].

Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune condition that primarily affects the skin, leading to the formation of red, scaly plaques. It is caused by an overactive immune response, resulting in rapid skin cell turnover. The classic presentation involves well-demarcated, silvery-white plaques on the elbows, knees, scalp, and lower back. Nail changes, such as pitting and onycholysis, are also commonly observed in psoriasis. Scleroderma, or systemic sclerosis, is an autoimmune connective tissue disorder characterized by excessive collagen production, leading to skin thickening and fibrosis. Cutaneous manifestations vary, with two main subsets: limited cutaneous systemic sclerosis (lcSSc) and diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis (dcSSc). lcSSc typically involves the hands, face, and distal extremities, while dcSSc affects larger areas of the skin. Skin involvement in scleroderma can have significant functional and cosmetic implications [3].

In addition to discussing the specific dermatological manifestations of autoimmune diseases, it is important to note that these manifestations can vary in severity and presentation among individuals. For example, in cutaneous lupus erythematosus, the butterfly rash may not be present in all cases, and the distribution and appearance of skin lesions can differ. Similarly, in psoriasis, the extent and severity of plaques can vary widely, ranging from localized patches to widespread involvement. It is worth mentioning that autoimmune diseases often have a multifactorial etiology, involving genetic predisposition, environmental triggers, and dysregulation of the immune system. The precise mechanisms underlying the development of dermatological manifestations in autoimmune diseases are not fully understood, but it is believed that immune-mediated inflammation and tissue damage play significant roles [4].

It is important for healthcare providers to consider the dermatological manifestations within the broader context of each patient's overall disease presentation and medical history. A thorough clinical evaluation, including a detailed examination of the skin and mucous membranes, along with appropriate laboratory investigations, can aid in making an accurate diagnosis and guiding treatment decisions [5].


Dermatological manifestations are frequently observed in autoimmune diseases and can provide crucial diagnostic and prognostic information. Understanding these skin findings aids clinicians in differentiating between various autoimmune conditions and initiating appropriate management strategies. Prompt recognition and treatment of dermatological manifestations can improve patient outcomes and overall quality of life. Collaboration between dermatologists and rheumatologists is essential for comprehensive care and optimal management of patients with autoimmune diseases.



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