About lichen planus

What is lichen planus?

Lichen planus facts

  • Lichen planus is a chronic recurrent rash of unknown cause with no established cure.
  • Lichen planus generally affects adults and can involve any portion of the body, but it has a predilection for the wrists, ankles, and oral and genital tissues.
  • Lichen planus can be quite itchy.
  • Lichen planus may spontaneously resolve.
  • Lichen planus is managed with a variety of topical and oral medications.

What is lichen planus?

Lichen planus is a chronic recurrent rash that is due to inflammation. The rash is characterized by small, flat-topped, many-sided (polygonal) bumps that can grow together into rough, scaly plaques on the skin. There may also be a rash in the lining (mucous membranes) of the mouth or vagina.

Lichen planus is a very curious and poorly understood skin condition. Its name is descriptive in that to some it resembles a simple plant, a lichen, that grows on rocks and tree bark, while planus is Latin for flat.

What are the symptoms for lichen planus?

Sores in the mouth or vaginal area that are symptom was found in the lichen planus condition

The signs and symptoms of lichen planus vary depending on the areas affected. Typical signs and symptoms include:

  • Purplish, flat-topped bumps, most often on the inner forearm, wrist or ankle, but sometimes on the external genitals
  • Itching
  • Blisters that may break to form scabs or crusts
  • Lacy white patches in the mouth — inside the cheeks or on the gums, lips or tongue
  • Painful oral or vaginal ulcers
  • Hair loss and scalp discoloration
  • Nail damage or loss

When to see a doctor

See your doctor if tiny Bumps or a rash-like condition appears on your skin for no apparent reason, such as a known allergic reaction or contact with poison ivy. Also see your doctor if you experience any signs or symptoms associated with lichen planus of the mouth, genitals, scalp or nails.

It's best to get a prompt and accurate diagnosis because a number of skin and mucosal conditions can cause Lesions and discomfort.

What are the causes for lichen planus?

Lichen planus occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks cells of the skin or mucous membranes. No one knows the exact cause of this abnormal immune response. The condition isn't contagious.

In some people, certain factors, such as those below, may trigger lichen planus.

  • Hepatitis C infection
  • Flu vaccine
  • Certain pigments, chemicals and metals
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen (Aleve, others)
  • Certain medications for heart disease, high blood pressure or arthritis

What are the treatments for lichen planus?

Most lichen planus is relatively mild. Affected individuals who do not have symptoms do not need treatment. Ultimately, there is no agreed-upon cure for this condition.

If the itch or appearance of the rash are unpleasant, topical corticosteroid creams may be of help. Topical steroid creams that, for example, are unwrapping or taped at bedtime may also be useful when practical. For localized, itchy, thick lesions, injections of corticosteroids may be given. Antihistamines may blunt the itch, particularly if it is only moderate. This effect is in part due to the sedative effect of antihistamines.

In more severe cases, physicians may recommend oral medications or therapy with ultraviolet light. Oral medications may include a course of oral corticosteroids such as prednisone or metronidazole (Flagyl). Occasionally, other immunosuppressive agents may be employed. However, the itching may return after the drug has been discontinued. A low-dose oral corticosteroid every other morning may be also prescribed. With continued itching, ultraviolet light (PUVA or NBUVB) treatment may help. For painful lesions within the mouth, the use of special mouthwashes containing a painkiller (such as lidocaine) before meals may provide some relief. Any drug or chemical suspected of being the cause of the lichen planus should be discontinued.

What are the risk factors for lichen planus?

Anyone can develop lichen planus. But the condition most often affects middle-aged adults.

Is there a cure/medications for lichen planus?

Medications and other therapies may be used to alleviate itching, relieve pain, and improve healing in lichen planus. Therapy can be difficult. Consult your doctor to assess the potential advantages against any treatment adverse effects.

  • Corticosteroids: Prescription corticosteroid cream or ointment is usually the first line of treatment for lichen planus. If it doesn't work and your disease is serious or spreading, your doctor may advise you to take a corticosteroid pill or get an injection.
  • Skin irritation or thinning in which the cream is administered and oral thrush are common consequences of topical corticosteroids. When used as indicated and for a short period of time, corticosteroids are considered safe.
  • Anti-infection medications used orally: Other oral medications used to treat this illness include the antimalarial hydroxychloroquine and the antibiotic metronidazole.
  • Immune response drugs: Severe signs and symptoms may necessitate the use of prescription medications that inhibit or change your immune systems, such as azathioprine, mycophenolate, cyclosporine.
  • Antihistamines: Lichen planus itching may be relieved by taking an antihistamine by mouth.
  • Phototherapy: Light therapy can help clear up skin lichen planus. The most commonly used phototherapy for lichen planus is UVB light, which only penetrates the upper layer of skin (epidermis). Light therapy normally necessitates two to three sessions each week for a few weeks. This therapy is not indicated for those with dark skin, who are at a higher risk of their skin remaining slightly darker even after the rash has cleared up.
  • Retinoids: If corticosteroids or light therapy are ineffective, your doctor may prescribe an oral retinoid medicine like as acitretin (Soriatane).

Because retinoids might cause birth abnormalities, they are not recommended for pregnant or planning to become pregnant women. If you are pregnant or nursing, your doctor may decide to postpone or change your topical retinoid therapy.

Purplish, flat pimples, usually on the inner forearm, wrist, or ankle, but often on the genitals,Itching,Blisters that rupture and develop scabs or crusts,Lacy white areas around the mouth, lips, or tongue,Sores in the mouth or vaginal area that are painful,Loss of hair,Color shift in the scalp,Damage or loss of nails

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