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Lichen Planus

What is it?

lichen planus treatment Bangalore

Lichen planus is an inflammatory medical condition affecting the skin, hair, nails and mucous membranes. This condition has found to affect both men and women of all ages. Women are more prone to get the oral form of this condition.

It usually appears as purplish, often itchy, flat-topped bumps on the skin that develops over several weeks. It forms lacy white patches, sometimes with painful sores when it occurs in the mouth, vagina and the areas covered by a mucous membrane.


  • Purplish, flat-topped bumps on the inner forearm, wrist or ankle and sometimes on the external genitals
  • Itching and blisters
  • Lacy white patches in the mouth
  • Hair loss and scalp discoloration
  • Nail damage


Lichen Planus is caused by a variety of reasons, including,

  • Family history
  • Hepatitis C infection
  • By being exposed to chemicals that act as allergens, usually present in:
    • Flu vaccine
    • Certain pigments, chemicals, and metals
    • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), for eg. Ibuprofen (Advil) and naproxen (Aleve)
    • Certain medications that used to treat heart disease, high blood pressure or arthritis


It is recommended that you visit a dermatologist when you see or feel a rash on the skin, lesions in the mouth or genitals. The dermatologists usually diagnose Lichen Planus by physical examination and will conduct the following diagnostic tests to confirm their diagnosis.

  • Biopsy: A small sample of the affected skin will be taken to examine them under a microscope. This is done to determine whether the cell patterns are similar to the lichen planus.
  • Allergy Tests: They might also conduct an allergy test to find out if it is an allergic reaction.
  • Hepatitis C Test: If the doctor suspects the underlying cause could be from an infection; a test for hepatitis C will also be conducted as it can be a possible trigger for Lichen Planus.


Lichen Planus on the skin usually go away or clear up automatically within a couple of years. However, if this condition affects the mucous membranes then they might become difficult to be treated and can occur again.

The doctors usually prescribe the following medications to help relieve the itching, reduce the discomfort and help in healing.

  • Corticosteroids are usually administered as creams, orally or as an injection, will help reduce inflammation. They are usually considered safe if taken for a short time.
  • Antihistamines reduce inflammation, which may be particularly helpful if the rash is triggered by an allergen. It can also relieve the pain or itching.
  • Nonsteroidal creams are applied topically and can suppress the immune system and clear up the rash.
  • Light Therapy can treat lichen planus with the use of ultraviolet light that penetrates only the skin’s upper layer.
  • Retinoids are opted by doctors if corticosteroids and light therapies do not help in treating this condition. Retinoids are synthetic forms of vitamin A that are either applied to the affected area or taken orally.

Home remedies

  • Soaking in an oatmeal bath
  • Cool compresses
  • Over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream
  • Avoid scratching



Authored By: Dr. Priya J Talageri

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