Lichen Planus

What is Lichen Planus?

Lichen Planus is a skin rash that is triggered by the immune system. The condition may be uncomfortable but it isn’t thought to be dangerous and is not contagious. Generally the condition tends to clear up by itself within several weeks or months.

Possible causes of Lichen planus may include genetics, stress, viral infections, and allergens. In some cases Lichen planus occurs along with autoimmune disorders. The skin form of Lichen planus occurs in women and men equally but women are two times as likely to develop the oral form of Lichen planus. The condition is rarely seen in children and older adults and occurs most often among middle-aged people.

What are the Symptoms of Lichen Planus?

People who develop Lichen Planus usually experience Purplish-colored lesions or bumps with flat tops on your skin or genitals, thin white lines over the rash, lesions that develop and spread over the body during weeks or a few months, itching at the site of the rash, lacy white lesions in the mouth which might cause a burning sensation or pain, blisters that burst and become scabby, hair loss, dry mouth, metallic taste in the mouth, and ridges in the nails.

How is Lichen Planus Treated?

Mild cases of Lichen planus don’t need any treatment and clear up in a matter of weeks or months.

While there is no cure for Lichen planus medications that treat the symptoms are very helpful and may include retinoids, corticosteroids to reduce inflammation, antihistamines, topical nonsteroidal creams to suppress the immune system and help clear up the rash, and treatment involving ultraviolet light.

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Last Reviewed:
October 06, 2016
Last Updated:
September 01, 2017
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