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- Quiz: Is Ringworm Contagious?
- Gallery of Skin Problems Pictures
- Patient Comments: Lichen Planus - Describe Your Experience
- Patient Comments: Lichen Planus - Symptoms and Signs
- Patient Comments: Lichen Planus - Diagnosis
- Patient Comments: Lichen Planus - Treatment
- Patient Comments: Lichen Planus - Prognosis
- Find a local Dermatologist in your town
- Lichen planus facts
- What is lichen planus?
- What are causes and risk factors for lichen planus?
- How is the rash of lichen planus different from that of most other common rashes?
- What are lichen planus symptoms and signs?
- What does lichen planus look like?
- What physicians diagnose and treat lichen planus?
- How is lichen planus diagnosed?
- Are there home remedies for lichen planus?
- What is the treatment for lichen planus?
- What is the long-term prognosis of lichen planus??
- Is it possible to prevent lichen planus?
Quick GuideSkin & Health: How Your Skin Reveals Health Problems
What does lichen planus look like?
The appearance of lichen planus depends on whether the skin or the lining (mucous membranes) inside the mouth or vagina are affected:
- Skin involvement: The usual skin involvement with lichen planus consists of flat-topped lilac or violet to brown spots a few millimeters in diameter on the skin. These spots tend to be located on the inner wrists, forearms, the lower legs just above the ankles, and the lower part of the back.
- A variant of this disease is called hypertrophic lichen planus. This condition appears as thick, reddish-brown lesions that are covered with scales. These spots tend to be on the shins, but they can occur anywhere on the body. This is an especially itchy and persistent (chronic) variant of lichen planus.
- Atrophic lichen planus produces slightly depressed lesions that otherwise resemble typical lichen planus.
- Mucous membranes: Lichen planus of the mucous membranes of the mouth and genitalia is common. It appears as a white, lacy rash on the inside of the cheeks or the vagina and may not cause symptoms. The oral rash often occurs prior to any skin involvement. More troublesome, although rare, is erosive lichen planus, which can be quite sore and uncomfortable. This erosive form typically causes the patient to complain of the shallow and often quite painful, recurrent ulcers in the mouth or genitalia. Lichen planus of the female genitalia can involve the external vulvar mucosa and the internal vaginal mucosa. There is an association with cancer in these areas, so both the oral and vaginal tissues need to monitored by a medical professional.
- Nail malformation may be produced by lichen planus.
- Lichen planus may involve the scalp, producing a permanent, scarring type of balding.
What physicians diagnose and treat lichen planus?
Most dermatologists, gynecologists, and some oral surgeons diagnose and treat lichen planus.