Subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus is a nonscarring, non–atrophy-producing photosensitive cutaneous disorder. Half of the patients have 4 or more of the criteria for classification as systemic lupus erythematosus. In some patients, drugs induce or exacerbate the cutaneous disease.
We describe 5 patients who had either an exacerbation or a new onset of subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus while taking terbinafine for presumed onychomycosis.
In general, terbinafine is a safe drug, but perhaps patients with known lupus erythematosus or photosensitivity are predisposed to drug-induced or drug-exacerbated disease.