Lichen Planus - Prognosis

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What is the long-term prognosis of lichen planus?

Lichen planus usually goes away by itself in time. Some drugs can produce rashes that are similar in appearance to lichen planus. These rashes can be distinguished from lichen planus in that they go away when the offending drug is stopped.

Lichen planus, by contrast, usually persists quite a while before resolving. The average duration of the condition is four years. Even after going away, lichen planus may recur. The disease is thus paradoxical in that it tends to be self-limiting but may recur after years. It is usually not associated with any body-wide (systemic) diseases or problems.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: Little Lulu, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 15

My lichen planus has an emotional trigger, apparently. It first appeared at age 18 months, and stayed active for 16 years, reappearing 2 years later, for another 16. Gone for 7 years. Doctors wondered what that was. No diagnosis until age 55. I'm 72 now, treating it with prescribed steroid ointment for 10 years off and on, it's worse and deeper than ever, and has started on my fingernails in the last year.

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Comment from: MHL, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: February 03

I first had lichen planus when my body was under severe trauma from broken bones and it lasted 9 months although the scarring lasted longer. It went of its own accord, then it recurred six years later, again I was under extreme stress. I use lidocaine only as no other creams seem to work. Again I went into remission after 9 months. I say remission because you never get rid of it. As an aside I had a frozen shoulder before each bout, and vertical ridges on my nails.

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