Lichen Planus - Treatment

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What forms of medical treatment, including medication, did you receive for lichen planus?

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What is the treatment for lichen planus?

Most cases of lichen planus are relatively mild. Affected individuals who do not have symptoms do not need treatment. Ultimately, there is no agreed upon cure for this condition.

If the itch or appearance of the rash are unpleasant, topical corticosteroid creams may be of help. Topical steroid creams that, for example, are under wrapping or taped at bedtime may also be useful when possible. For localized, itchy, thick lesions, injections of corticosteroids may be given. Antihistamines may blunt the itch, particularly if it is only moderate. This effect is in part due to the sedative effect of antihistamines.

In more severe cases, physicians may recommend oral medications or therapy with ultraviolet light. Oral medications may include a course of oral corticosteroids such as prednisone or metronidazole (Flagyl). Occasionally, other immunosuppressive agents may be employed. However, the itching may return after the drug has been discontinued. A low-dose oral corticosteroid every other morning may be also prescribed. With continued itching, ultraviolet light (PUVA) treatment may help. For painful lesions within the mouth, the use of special mouthwashes containing a painkiller (such as lidocaine) before meals may provide some relief. Any drug or chemical suspected of being the cause of the lichen planus should be discontinued.

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Comment from: amcbr76, 55-64 (Patient) Published: February 28

I developed lichen planus after an initial outbreak of eczema. I went through all of the topical treatments and finally my dermatologist said that a sub-therapeutic round of an anti-fungal called Gris-Peg sometimes "shocked" the lichen planus cycle. It worked. I still have a troublesome eczema that I periodically treat with Clobex.

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Comment from: BETTY, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 26

I was cured of lichen planus, which I experienced in a very aggressive and recurrent form when I was 20 years old. After 8 months of intervals of being fine for one month and then having my mouth with white painful patches that would bleed, a doctor prescribed me 10 shots of gamma globulin and ten of lysozyme. It was an expensive treatment, but not that expensive considering that it cured me forever (now I am 58).

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