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Lichen Planus

Lichen Planus

It is a very common skin disorder, commonly affection young adults.

Both the sexes are equally affected.

It can involve skin or mucous membrane or both.

What causes it?

It is autoimmune in origin, but many other triggering agents have been identified. Some of these are:

  • Hepatitis C, hepatitis B
  • Graft versus host disease.
  • Drugs such as anti malarials, beta blockers, metformin.
  • Dental metal amalgams.

Although the term used in cases of any triggering factor being present, is lichenoid reaction.


What are the symptoms?

Itching- most common complaint could vary in intensity.

Sudden eruption of lesions

Pigmentation/ discolouration over oral cavity

Burning sensation or ulcer in mouth.

Which are the sites affected most?

Skin: flexor aspect of wrists, forearm, shins, ankle, dorsa of feet, anterior thighs and flanks.

Mucous membrame: buccal mucosa, lips, and genitalia

Nails changes can occour.

How do they look like?

Over skin: They appear as flat toped, polygonal, reddish or violet like, flat shiny raised slightly scaly lesions. Sometimes, they appear in line along the scratch or trauma lines.

Over mucosa of mouth : it can present as the net-like or spider web-like appearance of lacy white lines (reticular pattern), or as oral ulcers presenting with persistent, irregular areas of redness, ulcerations and erosions covered with a yellow slough(ulcerative type), or as a white patch which may resemble leukoplakia (plaque type), or sometimes fluid filled tiny lesions can be seen (bullous variant).

How is the condition diagnosed?

Lichen planus has a typical appearance which helps in its diagnosis.

Also, if an oil- drop is placed on lesion; criss-cross white lines are seen.

Diagnosis can be confirmed by taking a skin biopsy.

Most of the treatment is directed towards the symptomatic relief or due to cosmetic concern.

How can it be treated?

First line of treatment is corticosteroids- topical and oral preparation.

Apart from it other options include- retinoid, vitamin D3 analogues.

Systemic – Dapsone, hydroxychloroquine, cyclosporine can be used.

Topical–Pimecrolimus, Tacrolimus can be used .

Other modalities can be combined such as phototherapy, cryotherapy.

Symptomatic treatment includes anti-itching medications, moisturizing agent.

Why Skin & You Clinic for Lichen Planus?

At Skin & You Clinic, we have treated a number of cases with excellent results. Our team of doctors are well versed in treating the condition with utmost care andunder medical guidance.

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