Melanotic lupus erythematosus (LE) is a rare and newly described form of chronic cutaneous LE. In this review, we have synthesized existing data on the epidemiologic, clinical, histologic, and immunologic features of melanotic LE. We performed a systematic review using PubMed to identify eligible publications. Eight contributions fulfilled the eligibility criteria and were included in the qualitative synthesis. Twenty-eight patients with a mean age of 57.7 years were included. All patients had medium to dark skin phototypes. The lesions presented either as solitary and localized, poorly limited, round, or oval patches (50%) or as a more diffuse or generalized, sometimes reticulated, hyperpigmentation (50%). Patients diagnosed with systemic LE accounted for 14% of included cases. Antinuclear antibodies were positive in 10.7% of cases. Hydroxychloroquine and topical steroids were the most commonly used treatments. Complete resolution of the lesions was noted in 27.27% of cases. No patient experienced atrophy, destruction, or deformity of the skin. Melanotic LE appears to affect mainly patients with dark phototypes. It is characterized by late age at the onset of disease and an overall good prognosis.
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Published online: July 27, 2022
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