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: Cono Ipsaro, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: November 26

I noticed skin lesions earlier this summer on my hands. Originally I thought they were scratches from working out in the yard. I then started noticing them on different area, forearm, wrist, ankle, etc. The dermatologist did the biopsy to determine it was lichen planus (LP). Apparently at this point it sounds like I do not have it as bad as some others. Mine is not itchy but it does look horrible. Small red bumps with a distinct center point like the nucleus of a cell. Some appear as small blisters that eventually break open. Once open they take about a week or two to heal to where there is a scar. I am a long time hepatitis C carrier and suspect that this is a result. I have no other explanation. I am healthy and very active without a care in the world other than hepatitis C. On December 4th I am going to start my fifth attempt at hepatitis C treatment. The current medications available have more of a success rate without any of the nasty side effects from previous medications. The drug is Harvoni. Once I start I am hoping that along with a cure for the hepatitis I will get relief from the LP.

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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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