Lichen Planus

Also Known As:

Lichen Ruber Planus, LP

What is Lichen Planus?

Lichen Planus is a chronic inflammatory skin condition. The disorder is characterised by an itchy rash consisting of small, many-sided, flat-topped, pink or purple bumps. The most affected areas are the wrists, elbows, ankles, and lower back. However, other parts of the body may also be affected such as the genitals.


Doctors are unclear as to the exact underlying cause of Lichen Planus. However, Lichen Planus is thought to be an autoimmune condition. Lichen Planus can also be triggered by the following factors:
•   Reaction to certain medicines
•   Allergic reaction to mercury tooth fillings
•   Grinspan Syndrome
•   Viral infections such as Hepatitis C
•   Stress


The symptoms of Lichen Planus vary depending on the areas affected and the severity of the condition. Some of the most common symptoms include:
•   Purplish, flat-topped bumps
•   Itching
•   Blisters that may break to form scabs or crusts
•   Lacy white patches in the mouth
•   Rash
•   Thin white lines over the rash
•   Painful oral or vaginal ulcers
•   Hair loss and scalp discoloration
•   Nail damage or loss
•   Thin white lines over the rash

Diagnosis & Treatment

Lichen Planus is diagnosed by a Doctor using a physical examination. If the symptoms are unclear, or if your doctor wants to confirm their suspected diagnosis, they may conduct a biopsy.

Mild cases of Lichen Planus usually clear up in weeks or months without any treatment. If the symptoms are uncomfortable or severe, your doctor can prescribe medication.

There is currently no known cure for Lichen Planus. Treatments aim to reduce inflammation and pain as well as slow the growth of skin cells. The main treatments include:
•   Topical treatments
•   Light therapy using ultraviolet (UV) or natural light
•   Antibiotics

Additional Information

According to the American Skin Association, Lichen Planus affects around 1 percent of Americans. It typically occurs in people over the age of 30 years.

Lichen Planus is not contagious. Touching a Lichen Planus rash on another person will not cause you to develop the condition.

Also see: Autoimmune Diseases

Medical Disclaimer

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Published Date:

1st April 2019


Mediv8 Admin