Lichen planus is a chronic skin disease usually seen in adults. Inflammation of the skin and mucus membranes characterizes lichen planus. It is most common on the wrists, ankles, mouth, and genital areas, including the vaginal lining in women. In certain areas, extensive lichen planus seems to be associated with a hepatitis C virus infection, but it is not likely that the virus causes lichen planus. Some drugs, including those containing arsenic, bismuth, or gold, can produce a skin reaction that appears identical to lichen planus.
Signs and symptoms of lichen planus include small itchy bumps on the skin or groups of bumps that are flat-topped, shiny, polygonal, and purple to gray in color. Individual bumps can contain thin, filmy web-like white lines called Wickham's striae. These are easiest to detect when lichen planus involves mucosal tissues, such as the lips or cheeks.
Cause of lichen planus
The cause of lichen planus remains unknown.
Other lichen planus symptoms and signs
- Itchy Bumps May Contain Thin, Filmy Web-Like Lines Called Wickham's Striae
- Small Flat-Topped, Shiny, Polygonal, Purple to Gray Bumps on the Skin
Main Article on Lichen Planus Symptoms and Signs
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Picture of Lichen Planus (Oral)
Lichen planus (LP) is a common inflammatory disease involving the skin and mucous membranes. Many clinical variants exist that...
Picture of Lichen Planus 1
This condition is a pruritic eruption of unknown etiology. See a picture of Lichen Planus and learn more about the health topic.
Picture of Lichen Planus 2
A small percentage of patients with lichen planus develop nail involvement. See a picture of Lichen Planus and learn more about...