Demodex positive discoid lupus erythematosus: Is it a separate entity or an overlap syndrome?

Dursun R., Durmaz K., Oltulu P., Ataseven A.

Dermatologic Therapy, vol.33, no.3, 2020 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 33 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/dth.13394
  • Journal Name: Dermatologic Therapy
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Keywords: discoid, facial dermatoses, lupus erythematosus, rosacea
  • Lokman Hekim University Affiliated: No


Discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE) is a chronic inflammatory erythematous skin disease that can be triggered by several factors. Rosacea is another skin disease that causes facial redness and tenderness. Demodex mites have been reported in rosacea and DLE patients commonly in the literature. These two diseases can be seen concomitant, mimic each other clinically and share common possible etiologic factors. To assess demodex mite infestation in both clinical and histopathological findings in DLE patients. We retrospectively evaluated the files of 42 patients with DLE who had been diagnosed DLE based on clinical and histopathological findings between August 2018 and August 2019. Demodex positivity was detected 50% of patients (n = 21). Neutrophile percentages in the dermal and perivascular area were higher in the demodex positive patients (4.43%) than in the Demodex negative patients (2.19%). The intensity of demodex mites correlated positively with dermal neutrophile percentages. ANA was negative in 29 patients (69%) and positive in 13 patients (31%). Anti-dsDNA was negative in serology and follicular plugging was positive in histopathology in all 42 patients (100%). This was a retrospective study. DLE and rosacea share common features in etiopathogenesis and clinical presentation. Inflammation and exacerbations caused by the demodex mites may increase the clinical severity of DLE. Although the position of demodex mites in DLE etiopathogenesis is not known exactly, the presence of high demodex in DLE patients has been determined. Standard skin surface biopsy can be a routine procedure for the evaluation of DLE patients in daily clinical practice.