Lichen planus : Causes-Symptoms-Diagnosis-Treatment

 What is Lichen planus?

Lichen planus is an inflammatory skin condition, characterized by associate restless, non-infectious rash on the arms and legs. It consists of tiny, many-sided, topped, pink or purple bumps.

What is Lichen planus?
Lichen planus

Lichen planus is a rash that often appears on the skin The condition usually affects the wrists and feet as well as the legs abdomen and face It also can affect the mouth and tongue causing white patches to grow inside your cheeks and on your gums People who have lichen planus may experience itching or burning in these areas Some people with this rash also have systemic symptoms such as pain and swelling of their joints There are no tests for lichen planus so you will likely need to be examined by a doctor if you suspect you have it Your doctor can identify lichen plan.

Lichen planus is a very common skin condition that affects the lining of your mouth and other parts of your body The most common symptoms include white tiny spots or flat-topped bumps on the roof or sides of your mouth along with painful sores in your mouth You may also have an itchy rash or blisters on other areas of your body such as inside the cheeks under the tongue in genital areas and under fingernails You may also have general feelings of illness like tiredness depression and headaches While some people can control lichen planus without treatment many others need to take medications to.

  1. Skin

  2. Subcutaneous tissue

Medical terms

  • Lichen planus (LIE-kun PLAY-nus) could be a condition that may cause swelling and irritation within the skin, hair, nails and secretion membranes. On the skin, lichen ruber planus typically seems as chromatic, itchy, flat bumps that develop over many weeks. within the mouth, channel and different areas coated by a tissue layer, lichen ruber planus forms lacy white patches, typically with painful sores.
  • Most people will manage typical, delicate cases of lichen ruber planus reception, while not medical aid. If the condition causes pain or an important haptic sensation, you'll like pharmaceuticals. lichen ruber planus is not contagious.

Symptoms Lichen planus

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

  • Purplish, flat bumps, most often on the inner forearm, wrist or ankle, and sometimes the genitals

  • Itching

  • Blisters that break to form scabs or crusts

  • Lacy white patches in the mouth or on the lips or tongue

  • Painful sores in the mouth or vagina

  • Hair loss

  • Change in scalp color

  • Nail damage or loss

The most common sort of lichen affects the skin. Over the course of many weeks, lesions seem and unfold. The condition typically clears up among vi to sixteen months.

Less unremarkably, the lesions will occur in areas besides the skin or private parts. These could include:

  • mucous membranes

  • nails

  • the scalp

There are also variations of the condition more common in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

When to see a doctor

See your doctor if small bumps or a rash-like condition seems on your skin for no apparent reason, like an acknowledged allergy or contact with poison Hedera helix. conjointly see your doctor if you expertise any signs or symptoms related to lichen of the mouth, genitals, scalp or nails.

It's best to induce a prompt and correct diagnosis as a result of a variety of skin and membrane conditions that will cause lesions and discomfort.

Causes Lichen planus

Lichen planus happens once your system attacks cells of the skin or secretion membranes. it is not clear why this abnormal response happens. The condition is not contagious.

Lichen planus is triggered by:

  • Hepatitis C infection

  • Flu vaccine

  • Certain pigments, chemicals and metals

  • Pain relievers, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen (Aleve, others)

  • Certain medications for heart disease, high blood pressure or arthritis

Risk factors Lichen planus

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

Lichen planus will occur in anyone at any age, however there are bound factors that build some folks a lot of doubt to develop the condition. The skin style of lichen ruber planus happens in men and ladies equally, however ladies are doubtless to induce the oral kind. It’s terribly rare in kids and older adults. It’s most typical in old folks.

Other risk factors embody having relations who’ve had lichen ruber planus, having an infective agent illness like hepatitis C, or being exposed to bound chemicals that act as allergens. These allergens might include:

  • antibiotics

  • arsenic

  • gold

  • iodide compounds

  • diuretics

  • certain kinds of dyes

  • Other medications

Complications Lichen planus

Lichen planus are often tough to manage on the female genitalia and within the duct, inflicting severe pain and generally deed scars. Sexual dysfunction will become a long-run complication. Oral sores might have an effect on your ability to eat. The affected skin may keep slightly darker even when the rash clears up, particularly in dark-skinned individuals.

Oral lichen will increase the chance of carcinoma. Left untreated, lichen of the auditory meatus might result in hearing impairment.

What vitamins help lichen planus?

Vitamin A: helps fight infections and increases antibody production helps fight infections and increases antibody production Vitamin E: boosts antioxidant power to battle free radicals that would normally damage the skin and lichen planus boosts antioxidant power to battle free radicals that would normally damage the skin and lichen planus Zinc: fights off environmental allergens which can trigger lichen planus symptoms in some people fights off environmental allergens which can trigger lichen planus symptoms in some people Selenium: required for healthy immune function without enough of this trace mineral your body may not recognize.

What foods should I avoid with lichen planus?

If you have lichen planus avoid spicy foods because they may increase the irritation of your mouth and throat Lichen planus can also be triggered by alcohol so it is usually recommended that you avoid alcohol as well As with any medication check with your doctor before taking over-the-counter medications to treat heartburn or upset stomach Overuse of these medications can cause additional gastritis as well as damage to the esophagus.

Is lichen planus caused by stress?

Lichen planus is a chronic skin condition that causes mild to moderate itching and irritation around the affected area This commonly occurs in areas of minor trauma such as elbows and knees Some people with lichen planus have mild flaking or scaling of the skin Lichen planus most often affects the hands but it can also appear on other parts of the body including the soles of the feet.

What is the best natural treatment for lichen planus?

Lichen planus is an issue that can appear to be difficult to manage The fact is it isn’t a difficult problem to treat at all As with any other disease the best way to deal with it is to try and prevent it from occurring in the first place This requires overall good health practices such as staying physically active eating a healthy diet avoiding unnecessary stress and taking proper supplements while ensuring you get enough rest.

Diagnosis Lichen planus

Anytime you see or feel a rash on your skin or lesions in your mouth or on your genital organ, you ought to see your doctor as shortly as doable. Your medical aid doctor could send you to a skin doctor if a diagnosis of lichen ruber planus isn't obvious, or if your symptoms are creating you terribly uncomfortable.

Your medical aid doctor or skin doctor is also able to tell that you just have lichen ruber planus just by gazing at your rash. To substantiate the diagnosis, you will want more tests.

Tests may embody a diagnostic assay, which suggests taking alittle sample of your skin cells to look at beneath a magnifier, or AN allergic reaction take a look at to search out if you’re having AN hypersensitive reaction. If your doctor suspects the underlying cause is AN infection, you will have to be compelled to have a look at viral hepatitis.

Your doctor makes a diagnosis of lichen ruber planus supporting your symptoms, your case history, a physical examination and, if necessary, the results of laboratory tests. These tests could include:

  • Biopsy. Your doctor removes alittle piece of affected tissue for examination below a magnifier. The tissue is analyzed to work out whether or not it's the cell patterns characteristic of lichen ruber planus. 

  • Hepatitis C test. You may have your blood drawn to test for hepatitis C, which is a possible trigger for lichen planus.

  •  Allergy tests. Your doctor might refer you to AN hypersensitivity reaction specialist (allergist) or skin doctor to search out if you are allergic to one thing which will trigger lichen.
    Other tests are also required if your doctor suspects you have got any of the many variations of lichen, like the sort that affects the muscular structure, genitals, ears or mouth.

Treatment Lichen planus

Lichen planus on the skin usually clears a courant of its own in months to years. If the illness affects your mucous membranes, it tends to be a lot of proof against treatment and susceptible to recur. no matter the treatment you employ, you'll have to go to your doctor for follow-up appointments once a year.

Medications and different treatments would possibly relieve itch, ease pain and promote healing. Medical care is often difficult. speak along with your doctor to weigh the potential edges against attainable aspect effects of treatment.


The first alternative for treatment of lichen is sometimes a prescription adrenal cortical steroid cream or ointment. If that does not facilitate and your condition is severe or widespread, your doctor would possibly recommend an adrenocortical steroid pill or injection.

Common facet effects of topical corticosteroids embody skin irritation or dilution wherever the cream is applied and oral thrush. Corticosteroids square measure thought to be safe once taken as directed and for short-run use.

Oral anti-infections drugs

Other oral medicines utilized in elite things for this condition square measure the antimalarial drug Plaquenil (Plaquenil) and therefore the antibiotic Flagyl (Flagyl, others).

Immune response medicines

Severe signs and symptoms could need prescription medications that suppress or modify your body's immunologic response, like medicament (Azasan, Imuran), mycophenolate (Cellcept), cyclosporine (Gengraf, Sandimmune, others) and immunosuppressive drug (Trexall).


An antihistamine medication taken by mouth might relieve the itching of lichen planus.

Light therapy

Light medical care (phototherapy) might facilitate clear up lichen ruber planus poignant the skin. The foremost common radiation for lichen ruber planus uses ultraviolet B (UVB) light-weight, that penetrates solely the higher layer of skin (epidermis). light-weight medical care typically needs 2 to 3 treatments every week for many weeks.

This medical care is not suggested for dark-skinned folks, United Nations agencies have AN hyperbolic risk of their skin staying slightly darker even when the rash clears up.


If your condition does not reply to corticosteroids or light-weight medical care, your doctor would possibly order a retinoid medication taken orally, like acitretin (Soriatane).

Retinoids will cause birth defects, therefore these medicines are not suggested for girls World Health Organization are pregnant or might become pregnant. If you are pregnant or nursing, your doctor might prefer to delay topical retinoid medical care or opt for a special treatment.

Dealing with triggers

If your doctor suspects that your lichen ruber planus is expounded to hepatitis C infection, allergies or a drug you are taking, you would possibly want alternative treatment. for instance, you will have to be compelled to switch medications or avoid violative allergens. Your doctor might refer you to AN MD or, within the case of a hepatitis C infection, a specialist in disease (hepatologist) for more treatment.

Lifestyle and home remedies

Self-care measures can help reduce the itching and discomfort caused by lichen planus. These include:

  • Soaking in a bathtub with colloidal oatmeal (Aveeno, others), followed by moisturizing lotion

  • Applying cool compresses

  • Using an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream or ointment, containing at least 1 percent hydrocortisone (if you're not using a prescription topical corticosteroid)

  • Avoiding scratching or injuring your skin

For oral lichen planus, good oral hygiene and regular dentist visits are important. You can help reduce the pain of mouth sores by avoiding:

  • Smoking

  • Drinking alcohol

  • Consuming spicy or acidic food and drink

Alternative medicine

A couple of tiny clinical trials have recommended the advantage of aloe gel for treating lichen ruber planus of the mouth and female genitalia.

Look into the practice of medicine approaches that facilitate scale back stress, as stress will worsen the signs and symptoms of lichen ruber planus.

Talk together with your doctor before attempting another treatment for lichen ruber planus. Some different medicines or nutrition supplements end in serious adverse reactions once combined with prescription medicines.

  1. Skin grafting transplant

Preparing for your appointment

You'll likely begin by seeing your medical aid doctor. He or she could refer you to a doctor UN agency focuses on skin diseases (dermatologist).

Here's some info to assist you prepare for your appointment.

What you can do

Before your appointment make a list of:

  • Symptoms you've been having and for how long

  • All medications, vitamins and supplements you take, including the doses

  • Questions to ask your doctor

For lichen planus, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:

  • What's the most likely cause of my symptoms?

  • Are there other possible causes?

  • Do I need any tests?

  • How long will these skin changes last?

  • What treatments are available, and which do you recommend?

  • What side effects can I expect from treatment?

  • I have these other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?

  • Are there any restrictions that I need to follow?

  • Should I see a specialist?

  • Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you're prescribing?

  • Do you have any brochures or other printed material I can take with me? What websites do you recommend?

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, such as:

  • Where on your body have you found the lesions?

  • Are the affected areas itchy, painful or uncomfortable?

  • How would you describe the severity of the pain or discomfort — mild, moderate or severe?

  • Have you recently started new medications?

  • Have you recently had immunizations?

  • Do you have any allergies?

General summary

  1. The faster you treat lichen planus the more likely you are to avoid long-term complications. In some cases your doctor may recommend a corticosteroid cream to help suppress your immune system and reduce inflammation quickly. This will usually heal within two weeks. If not it is important that you see a dermatologist for treatment options.

  2. Lichen planus is an itchy blistering rash that affects the skin It's thought to be caused by the immune system reacting to a trigger in just one small area such as your mouth genital area or hands Lichen planus most commonly affects adults with symptoms starting between 20 and 40 years old Different things can trigger lichen planus including certain medications and stress or emotional trauma (see below for details on these triggers) It could take weeks for your symptoms to develop after you're exposed to the trigger Lichen planus isn't usually serious and usually settles down within 12 months of developing.

  3. Lichen planus is an autoimmune disorder that causes skin lesions The reaction associated with this condition can be triggered by acute stress and certain foods hormones and medications such as steroids antibiotics and medicines used to treat ulcers It’s most commonly seen in women between the ages of 20 and 45 years old.

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