Lichen planus

lichen planus

Information about lichen planus

What is lichen planus?

Lichen planus is a chronic, inflammatory skin disease that affects the skin and mucous membranes (mouth and genitals). The most affected groups are people between 30 and 60 years old and particularly dark-skinned women. The disease is not spread from person to person and it is not hereditary. It is probably an autoimmune disease.


The exact cause of lichen planus is unknown. However, its duration is limited to a few weeks. In rare cases, it is possible that is the result of an allergic reaction to a cardiac drug or a drug for arthritis. But as soon as the medication stops, the symptoms diminish.


The symptoms of lichen planus include red, itchy and flat-topped bumps, which are accompanied by erosions and ulcers. They are located on the wrists, eyelids, legs, neck, genitals, glans and scalp. Despite the fact that the disease is easy to diagnose, a biopsy may be required in some cases. Approximately 1 out of 5 patients will develop the disease a second time.

Lichen planus may also affect the oropharynx as well as the genitals, where it can cause significant damage. It is also possible to affect the nails and lead to their complete destruction. About 20% of women with oral lichen planus are also affected by genital lichen planus. In this case, the disease can be asymptomatic or present symptoms such as red spots and ulcers that cause pain during intercourse.


The diagnosis is established by the patient’s clinical picture. Histological confirmation of the diagnosis is usually necessary.


The treatment can be topical or systemic. Topical treatment includes the use of corticosteroids and cyclosporine oral solution whereas systemic treatment includes the use of cyclosporine, oral cortisone and retinoids.

What specialty

The doctor to treat lichen planus is the Dermatologist – venereologist

Take your appointment with a Dermatologist – Venereologist