Lichen planus, abbreviated as LP, is the development of a pruritic rash on the skin and inside the mouth. It is thought to be an autoimmune disorder which has primarily no cure.
Lichen planus presents with the development of purple colored pruritic rash with flat tops. In many cases, the rashes have lacy white lines running through them known as Wickham’s striae. The rashes most commonly develop on the wrists, ankles and lower back. However, they can occur almost in any area of the body. In addition, LP may cause dry mouth, nail abnormalities, loss of hair and development of metallic taste in mouth.
Entire Body System
- Nail Abnormality
In most cases, the nail abnormalities improve spontaneously. Keywords: Trachyonychia, rough nails, twenty nail dystrophy How to cite this article: Gordon KA, Vega JM, Tosti A. Trachyonychia: A comprehensive review. [doi.org]
Other Manifestations: OTHER LESIONS Dry mouth Hair loss Metallic taste in the mouth Ridges in the nails (nail abnormalities) 9. The goal of treatment is to reduce symptoms and speed healing. If symptoms are mild, it may not need treatment. [slideshare.net]
In addition, LP may cause dry mouth, nail abnormalities, loss of hair and development of metallic taste in mouth. Lichen planus often develops at the site of skin injury and may appear as a single lesion or in clusters. [symptoma.com]
- Localized Pain
pain and burning sensation was described. [doi.org]
Jaw & Teeth
- Aphthous Stomatitis
BACKGROUND: In spite of all the efforts, recurrent aphthous stomatitis (RAS) and oral lichen planus (OLP) still have unexplained etiology. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
Lidia Gavic, Livia Cigic, Dolores Biocina Lukenda, Vladimir Gruden and Josipa Sanja Gruden Pokupec, The role of anxiety, depression, and psychological stress on the clinical status of recurrent aphthous stomatitis and oral lichen planus, Journal of Oral [doi.org]
Immunopathogenesis of oral lichen planus and recurrent aphthous stomatitis. Semin Cutan Med Surg. 1997;16:284-94. [ Links ] 25. Sugerman PB, Satterwhite K, Bigby M. AutocytotoxicT-cell clones in lichen planus. [scielo.br]
Furthermore, OLP seems to have a higher impact on patients’ quality of life than recurrent aphthous stomatitis but lower impact as compared to oral bullous diseases [ 280 ]. [hindawi.com]
Cutaneous lesions can be localized or eruptive . “Eruptive” or “exanthematous” LP is a uncommon variant of LP and it is rarely reported in the English-language literature, especially among adults . [doi.org]
He stated that his eruption began three months before from only his lips and fingertips. [web.archive.org]
Here we present a patient of Egyptiandecent with a lacy reticulated LPP eruption on theface. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
Recently, there have been25 cases reported in the literature of lichen planuspigmentosus (LPPi) that preceded the developmentof frontal fibrosing alopecia (FFA), which is a variantof lichen planopilaris (LPP). [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia – Women’s Receding Hairline New Lupus Treatment May Help With Hair Loss [belgraviacentre.com]
A scarring alopecia may result. A variant of lichen planopilaris is frontal fibrosing alopecia. [emedicine.medscape.com]
White net-like patches or ulceration of mucous membranes, nail deformity, scarring alopecia, and other types of skin lesions may also occur. Most patients develop the disease between ages 30 and 60 years. [online.epocrates.com]
Hypertrophic lichen planus (HLP) is a variant of lichen planus characterized by marked epidermal hyperplasia and severe pruritus. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
There was also external auditory canal plugging in six patients and pruritus in five patients. A total of 11 patients had bilateral disease, while eight had unilateral disease. [medpagetoday.com]
- Koebner Phenomenon
Koebner’s phenomenon (isomorphic response). After lesions subside, post lichen hyperpigmentation occurs. 8. Koebner's Phenomenon 9. Hypertrophic Lp •This condition appears as thick, reddish-brown lesions that are covered with scales. [de.slideshare.net]
phenomenon: new lesions at sites of trauma Lichen planopilaris: primary site of involvement is the epithelium of hair follicles, causing alopecia Wickham straie: white dots or lines within papules Variants: atrophic, bullous, follicular, hypertrophic [pathologyoutlines.com]
This is called “the Koebner phenomenon”. When the spots resolve they generally leave brown stains called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation which take months to resolve. [dermcoll.edu.au]
phenomenon Download Figure: 6 Lichen planus, post-inflammatory At this stage lesions are not active, do not itch and should not be treated with topical steroid Download Figure: 7 Lichen planus, post-inflammatory Download Figure: 8 Lichen planus in dark [pcds.org.uk]
This so-called Koebner phenomenon may appear as a line of flat-topped, red-to-purple bumps on the skin. [skinsight.com]
It's the same type of mystery that surrounds eczema and psoriasis. There are theories that lichen planus could be related to stress, genetics and certain viruses, but none of those ideas are likely to be proven any time soon. [health.howstuffworks.com]
It is observed that there is some autoimmune disease such as Lichen Planus, eczema, cancer, psoriasis, etc. in the family, suggestive of a genetic link. 5. [askdrshah.com]
[…] psoriasis raised, red, scaly patches on the body - could be pityriasis rosea itching and white patches on the vulva - could be lichen sclerosus ring-like red patch anywhere on the body - could be ringworm itchy, dry, cracked, sore and red skin - could be eczema [nhsdirect.wales.nhs.uk]
[…] crusty patches, often on elbows or knees psoriasis Raised, red, scaly patches on the body pityriasis rosea Itching and white patches on the vulva lichen sclerosus Ring-like red patch anywhere on the body ringworm Itchy, dry, cracked, sore and red skin eczema [nhs.uk]
- Compulsive Disorder
Simón, Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in Oral Lichen Planus: A Case Study, Scandinavian Journal of Behaviour Therapy, 28, 4, (143), (1999). C. Scully, M. Beyli, M. C. Ferreiro, G. Ficarra, Y. Gill, M. Griffiths, P. [doi.org]
Masoumeh Mehdipour, Ali Taghavi Zenouz, Alireza Farnam, Rana Attaran, Sara Farhang, Maryam Safarnavadeh, Narges Gholizadeh and Saranaz Azari-Marhabi, The Relationship between Anger Expression and Its Indices and Oral Lichen Planus, Chonnam Medical Journal [doi.org]
- Genital Lesions
Oral and genital lesions can develop, become chronic, and cause morbidity. Diagnose LP by clinical appearance and, if necessary, biopsy. Treat localized LP with topical or injected corticosteroids. [merckmanuals.com]
Some of the most common symptoms of lichen planus include the following: purplish-colored lesions or bumps with flat tops on your skin or genitals lesions that develop and spread over the body over the course of several weeks or a few months itching at [healthline.com]
Because genital lesions are underrecognized or asymptomatic, incidence rates likely represent underestimates of the true extent of disease. Lichen planus presents less frequently to gynecologists and dermatologists than does lichen sclerosus. [clinicaladvisor.com]
A preliminary physical examination of the rash is enough to diagnose lichen planus. In addition, various other tests may also be required to confirm the condition. These include:
Lichen planus cannot be cured; the symptoms can however be well managed with appropriate treatment regime which includes :
- Antihistamines are prescribed if the rash has developed due to allergic reactions.
- Corticosteroid creams are employed to be applied on the rash to relieve redness and swelling .
- PUVA therapy is a kind of light therapy employed to treat skin rashes.
- Retinoic acid is a medication which can either be taken orally or can be applied on the rash.
- Lidocaine mouthwashes are prescribed when LP has developed inside mouth.
- Other topical ointments such as tacrolimus and pimecrolimus are employed to be applied on the rashes .
- Oral metronidazole and acitretin have proved to be effective against lichen planus .
The prognosis of lichen planus is quite favorable if treatment is initiated on right time. The rash usually clears up within 18 months; however individuals may continue to experience recurrent attacks of LP for several years. In conditions when allergic reactions to certain medications causes LP then the rash gets corrected once the medication is stopped.
Lichen planus is thought to be an autoimmune disease. The particular factor that causes the immune system to behave in such a fashion is unknown. However, certain risk factors have been identified to play a role in causation of LP. These include viral diseases such as hepatitis C, exposure to certain medications, chemical and dyes. All these factors can predispose an individual to develop lichen planus. Medications that are taken for treating blood pressure and heart disease can trigger an attack of LP .
The exact incidence of lichen planus is unknown. With the available data it can be stated that about 1% of new patients at health care clinics suffer from LP in the United States. Some reports point towards the fact that LP occurs more frequently during the months of December and January. Such a type of skin disorder is more common in individuals aged 40 years and above .
Certain types of disease condition of altered immunity are known to trigger the development of lichen planus. Such type of disease conditions include vitiligo, ulcerative colitis, dermatomyositis, myasthenia gravis, lichen sclerosis and alopecia areata.
Researchers have pointed towards a strong link between lichen planus and hepatitis C, primary biliary cirrhosis and chronic active hepatitis. Statistics have shown that about 16% patients with lichen planus also suffered from hepatitis C virus infection. This in turn indicates that individuals with liver anomalies fall easy prey to LP .
So far there are no guidelines to prevent the development of lichen planus. Individuals allergic to certain medications can avoid the use of such drugs to prevent development of rashes.
Lichen planus (LP) cannot be cured, but can be well managed with an appropriate treatment regime. Symptoms are gradually brought under control with medications and therapies. Lichen planus is a non–infectious skin disease and the rash develops in the areas of arms, legs, trunk, mouth, nails, scalp, vulva, vagina and penis .
Lichen planus is not a serious condition; however, in some rare cases, the rashes may itch and certain types of this skin condition can give rise to serious and debilitating symptoms. Middle aged populations are most affected by this skin disorder.
Lichen planus is defined as the development of itchy skin rashes on the skin. It is a chronic skin condition with no cure. The symptoms can be managed with appropriate treatment regime. In rare cases, the symptoms may exacerbate and turn serious. Individuals tend to get recurrent bouts of lichen planus.
The exact cause of lichen panus is not known. It is thought to occur due to allergic reaction or immune response to certain conditions. Research has also proved that certain underlying disease conditions such as hepatitis C, primary biliary cirrhosis and chronic active hepatitis. Stress has also been identified as a potential risk factor for development of lichen planus.
The rashes manifest as round shaped purple colored lesions having sharp borders. In many cases, the lesions may get covered with white marks or lines known as Wickham’s striae. The rashes may develop as a single lesion or may in multiple numbers. The rashes turn itchy and painful making conditions worse for the affected individuals.
Diagnosis of lichen planus is done through a preliminary physical examination of the rash. In addition, blood tests are carried out to asses liver functioning. Skin biopsy may also be required to rule out associated disorders.
There is no absolute cure for lichen planus. The condition can be managed with appropriate medications and topical ointments. In many instances, light therapy has been found to be helpful in treatment of lichen planus. Fluorinated topical steroids are helpful for treating mild symptoms. More severe forms may require a rigorous treatment regime. When rashes have developed inside the mouth, then individuals are given lidocaine mouthwashes to relieve the symptoms.
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- Rasi A, Behzadi AH, Davoudi S, Rafizadeh P, Honarbakhsh Y, Mehran M, et al. Efficacy of oral metronidazole in treatment of cutaneous and mucosal lichen planus. J Drugs Dermatol. Oct 2010;9(10):1186-90.