Lichen planus (chronic inflammation of the skin)

Skin | Dermatology | Lichen planus (chronic inflammation of the skin) (Disease)


Lichen planus is a chronic recurrent rash that is due to inflammation. The rash is characterized by small, flat-topped, many-sided (polygonal) bumps that can grow together into rough, scaly plaques on the skin. There may also be a rash in the lining (mucous membranes) of the mouth or vagina. Lichen planus is a very curious and poorly understood skin condition. Its name is descriptive in that to some it resembles a simple plant, a lichen, that grows on rocks and tree bark, while planus is Latin for flat.

Main symptoms: with flat, shiny papules, distributed linear, ranging from purple to pink to red, itching can be severe, inflammation or burning if they are affected mucous membranes, the nail changes during pits, cleft, thinning or nail loss, redness, irritation, thinning or hair loss (alopecia) if the scalp is affected. Initial rash may persist for weeks or months, and applicants may continue for several years. After the disappearance of the rash can persist gray spots or brown. They are more visible in people with dark skin.

Lichen planus affects anyone regardless of race or age. However, lichen planus is more common in middle-aged adults and affects more women. Also, if there is liver damage, such as infection with hepatitis C and liver fibrosis (cirrhosis), there is much more likely to develop lichen planus.

Causes and Risk factors

The cause of oral lichen planus is unknown. The lesions that appear are the result of inflammation controlled by specific white blood cells called T lymphocytes. Normally, these cells are active at the site of disease or injury.

Lichen planus is a benign skin.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Lichen planus can be cured with treatment, but can persist for months or years. Patients with long mucosal lesions at increased risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma a form of cancer. In these cases, the doctor may recommend regular examinations to monitor changes of mucosal or skin. It also prohibits tobacco because smoking increases the risk of squamous cell carcinoma. ...

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