Also called: Lichen ruber planus
Lichen planus is a relatively common recurrent rash that is due to inflammation. This rash is characterized by small, flat-topped, many-sided bumps that can grow together into rough, scaly patches on the skin. The main difference between lichen planus and other common rashes is the violet color that is characteristic of lichen planus.
The onset of lichen planus can be sudden or gradual. The first attack can last weeks or months with recurrences happening for years. Children are not affected by this disorder.
Erosive lichen planus may be painful in the mouth and vagina, and secondary infections may occur. If the affected areas touch one another, scarring may occur, resulting in a narrowing or complete closure of the vagina.
Approaches to Treating Lichen Planus
Several medications are used to treat this disorder, and lichen planus often improves with various creams and ointments. For localized, itchy, thick lesions, injections of corticosteroids may be given. Antihistamines may help treat the itch, especially if it is only moderate. In more severe cases, your doctors may recommend oral medications. Sometimes the bumps will disappear without treatment; however, treatment can make your skin look better.
Since lichen planus closely resembles other skin conditions, it is diagnosed by a biopsy. This is a minor procedure often done in the office under local anesthesia. Small areas of skin are removed and analyzed.