Lichen planus is an inflammatory recurrent disease that can affect the skin, scalp, nails and mucous membranes. Most often it affects middle-aged people.
What causes Lichen planus?
This is an autoimmune disease, and the reason of such immune process is unknown.
There are more possible triggers such as psychogenic factors, stress and emotional tension, viral infections (hepatitis C), flu vaccine, intake of certain drugs such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (Brufen, Naproxen), as well as heart medications, high blood pressure, arthritis.
Lichen planusis not contagious.
What are the symptoms of lichen planus?
Lichen planus usually appears on the skin as hard elevated purple lesion, round at the beginning, and later developing a characteristic polygonal shape, with flat shiny surface and thin white lines on it (Wickham stretch marks). Most often the lesions are accompanied by severe itching.
The places where they usually appear are the folds of hands, forearms, lower back, belt area, but they can affect the whole body except the face. Lichen planus is associated with a positive Koebner phenomenon, a linear distribution of lichen lesions due to scratching, as well as their appearance in sites of injury. After healing, a dark pigmentation may remain.
It rarely appears on other body parts.
The mucous membrane of the lip (the inner sides of the cheeks and the sides of the tongue) and genitals are most often affected. It is manifested as white, lacy patches (Netz phenomenon). Superficial sores and atrophy of the affected mucosa may develop.
On the scalp, the lesions in the form of pink scaling patches, followed by hair loss with atrophy are observed. Longitudinal ridging is present on the nails with the destruction of the nail plate.
How do we treat Lichen planus?
The diagnosis is made based on the appearance, course of the disease,
as well as histopathological results. Therapy with corticosteroid ointments is prescribe to relieve itching. In general therapy, antihistamines, sedatives are prescribed, and, if necessary, corticosteroids and retinoids.