In 1851, M. Cazenave wrote a paper on a disease which was called by him lupus erythematosus. Six years before, Hebra had described a condition under the name of seborrhea congestiva, which he considered was similar to the lupus erythematosus of Cazenave. A few years later, Hebra adopted the name lupus erythematosus in preference to seborrhea congestiva; yet he still held the view that the disease was associated with seborrhea.
The etiology of lupus erythematosus, even after eighty-one years since it was first described, is uncertain.
In 1903, Croker, in reviewing the causation, stated:
A feeble circulation is a favouring influence, and not infrequently the disease dates from some form of superficial inflammation, such as scarlet fever or erysipelas. Prolonged exposure to great heat in the sun, or to great cold, especially cold winds, has appeared to be the exciting cause in some cases.
MacLeod, in his summary, states that