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Conditions

Lichen Planus

Lichen Planus

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A member of the lichen family of skin conditions, lichen planus is a non infectious rash that affects mainly the limbs, mouth, nails, scalp and genitals, but rare cases where the oesophagus and tear ducts are affected are known. The rash normally takes the form of itchy raised red or purple bumps, medically called papules, that measure around 3-5mm but can be up to 1cm in some cases. Sometimes the papules can also appear to have white streaks which indicate the ‘Wickham’s striae’ form of the disease, or thicker scaly patches normally around the ankles which indicate hypertropic lichen planus. When nails are affected, the skin becomes thin and grooved and in the mouth white patches can form. The cause of the condition is unknown, but recent medical thinking has linked it to an overactive immune system, triggered by a virus, which causes an excess of protein to be produced resulting in the skin becoming inflamed. Lichen planus could also occur as a reaction to certain types of medication such as gold injections and antimalarial tablets, as well as being linked to liver conditions such as hepititus.

It is estimated that one in fifty people are affected by lichen planus. It more commonly occurs in the over 40s, with the oral strain affecting more women than men. There is no definite cure for lichen planus, but treatments are available that can control the symptoms whichcorticosteroid creams, antihistamine creams and ultra-violet light. Corticosteroid creams are applied directly to the rash but treatment must be stopped once the colour of the rash changes from red or purple to brown or grey. Immune suppressant medication can be used in cases where it is thought that an overactive immune system is the cause and in severe cases corticosteroid or acitretin tablets can be prescribed on a short-term basis. In 50% of cases the rash clears up after six to eight months of it initially appearing, and in 85% of cases the rash disappears within eighteen months. However, erosive lichen planus can last for a very long time and causes painful ulcers in the mouth and genitals. In cases where lichen planus affects the mouth (oral lichen planus), mild symptoms often do not need to be treated but more severe cases normally require mouthwashes, corticosteroid sprays or tablets. Also, for one in five sufferers lichen planus reoccurs in the future, with a small number of people being affected several times by the condition over their lifetime.

More information about Lichen Planus is available through the Lichen Planus Support Group >

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hi i have have had lichen planus for 3 years now and some of the bumps on my skin is gone due to me using creams but every time i have some sort of cut an outbreak seem to happen why? and does anyone know how to treat the scars i have left? and is derma rolling the best option to treat it as i have lichen planus and every time i have a cut an outbreak happens?





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my 5 year old daughter has LP and we just found out. This has been going on for over a month now. The OP had prescribed her 2 DIFFERENT steroid creams and still the spots have darkened but any bump on something splits her skin and tears the skin off completly. This hirts my geelings because it is on her back,arms and legs. only a few spots on her forehead ( thank God) anyone knows any safe treatments or oils for LP in SUCH a young child?





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I have it and I only use natural products such as lavender oil and organic coconut oil

I am 34 been diagonesed with lp after having biopsy but not convinced as mine are not itchy or red had them for eitghteen months neck, face, underarm body and groin area.been given steroid cream. Not sure it will help, but will try anything.





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I am a 18 year old female n found out i had lp when i was 16 n half my arm was covered in scabs n itchy patches . my doctor prescribed me prednisone a steroid but i refuse to take them because i don't eat and i don't sleep. Now im getting these b huge itchy bumps as if their mosquitoes but its January .. They itch like crazy and its on my inner thigh n right bottom side of my face what do i do. ?





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Hi rebecca are u healed yet?lm also diagnosed with 0Lp,from jan,2016,my dr,gave me aspen fluconazole 150mg,capsules, bath in rooibos tea water and clear soap,i got it worse,i saw a dermatologist he gave me pulmison 20mg tablets and dovate ointmennt, and phenergan small blue sleeping pils,takeaway the itchy.im much beter now,only black spots on skin.

I've been diagnosed with this for a year but I had it for the last 5 with flare ups mostly in the spring. But about 1 and a half year ago it spread to my FACE. I can't tell you how much this hurts and embarrasses me. I always have to wear make up everyday and I never wear make up before this. I'm afraid to be in a relationship because I think without make up I look sick. I don't think anyone will accept me like this.I have even told people I got over cancer and that's why my skin changed because lichen plantus sounds horrible and made up. Before I got a good make up that is expensive that I must order online, people really thought I was dieing of aids or some other terrible thing. I get lonely but I feel so isolated because of this disease. I send you all my love and prayers on the other hand it could be worse. I pray a doc come along who can help make this better for us all. I hate that a child would have to go thru this. I will pray for us all tonight good luck all





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I had this skin condition and it got better. I turned to nature for my answer. I was covered all over my back legs arms chest. I took burdock and msm. I changed my diet remove sugar milk include more raw veg. Try to remove as much stress as you can and get lots of rest It worked for me after taking all kinds of medication

Hello Ericka, I'm going through the same thing as you. I cry a lot and ask God why me. But you must be strong and pray. Think positive stay positive. I'm is turning purple now, I've been using bleaching cream, and Renti A cream, to help fade the dark spots. I do see it lighten up a little. I do miss wearing my dresses, and short. I just started wearing short sleeve shirt.

Has anyone had this just once in their lifespans it never came back or does everyone jus have to suffer for rest of life





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LP has shown up in my "beard" area.. The dermatologist I saw was not helpful to me.. I left feeling rushed and not helped. She prescribed an acne medication to "calm down" the flare on my chin etc.. I told her it was also in my nether regions.. She didn't give me a word of advice on it at all. I need a new doctor! I'm depressed and upset about this and it is greatly affecting my life.. This is not the first occurance-- for years I had no idea what was up with the rash on my hands--- when I developed an ulcer on my tongue I reasearched myself-- brought what I found to my family dr, and was diagnosed. 35 now.. I am glad to find this reference, as I will try some of these treatments





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Hi all, I was diagnosied with LP when I was about 5-6 years old I'm now 32. All I can remember as a child is that horrible intense itching and the doctors not really knowing what was wrong with me for what seemed a life time and then finally been really upset when a doctor told me I'll have this for life! It seems to reappear every 3 years or so, and I seem to be affected on my wrists, ankles, backs of my knees and stomache. After years of trying many different creams, tablets and bath solutions I find what works best for me is once I have the early signs of it starting up I see my GP and asking to be referred for UVB light treatment. I'll have a couple of sessions then it's all gone for another few years. The UVB is not as harmful as UVA and your literally stand in a sun bed for seconds. It has definitely saved me a lot of missery, hope this can help someone.





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I am a 35 year old, woke up one day and found black patches on one side of my whole body (right side), went to GP and was told it fungal for months (7 months) and was given fungal medicine and Steroid for months and nothing happen, I keep telling my GP that it wasn't fungal and I had to push for biopsy and when biopsy was done and found out it was LP was told there is nothing they can do and to live with it. It will be a year in June 2015 and black patches are till there, it not itchy or skin rash, just black patches and i'm scared that they might have misdiagnose me again. I want my body back the way it was. I don't know how to live with something like that:-( I will go to a private clinic and see what they say about it. My black patches doesn't look like LP. Can someone please help





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I've had a very similar experience, I knew I had LP as I was diagnosed with it as a child and I know it re-accurs. I moved to a different town and had a new GP. I had a flare up of LP went to see my GP and he kept telling me it was scabies!!(I was not happy lol) any way this went on for months I became fed up and coughed up to see a dermatologist privately and guess what....it was LP! I'd go private if there messing you about and you can afford it, it cost me around £100 for a diagnosis but that was a few years ago and I guess the cost may differ who you see and where you are, but you can all ways ask to be referred if your not happy with your GP. Ohh and there are many different types of creams, tablets etc to control/reduce LP you don't just have to live with it, but there is no cure. Hope this helps.

my 6 yr old daughter is detected with lichenplanus and it spread all over her body within two months. we are taking homeopathic treatment and now the new lesions have stopped appearing but still she has lot of itching plz suggest something. I do apply coconut oil daily





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I've commented with what I have done below in the other comments, but seek pharmacist advice if you decide to give her zinc as you have to be careful with it as well as multivital tonic.


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