Lichen Planus Rash: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Lichen Planus rash on face
Lichen Planus


What is Lichen Planus?

Lichen Planus is an inflammatory disease that affects the skin and causes itchy reddish or purplish flat-topped bumps. In addition to to skin, it affects hair, nails and mucous membranes. Lichen Planus can affect any part of the skin, but mostly arms, legs, mouth and genital area.


It is worth mentioning here that Lichen Planus forms lacy white patches in the parts of the body covered by a mucous membrane such as mouth, vagina , etc.



What are the causes of Lichen Planus?

The cause of Lichen Planus is still unknown that means it is not a result of an infection or hormones, yet it is caused by an inflammation of the skin making some destruction. Some specialists say that the immune system is the responsible.

To shed more light, when the immune system, without a rational reason, attacks the skin’s cells and mucous membranes, Lichen planus occurs.

So people who have problems in the immune system such as patients have hepatitis C are more likely to suffer from Lichen Planus.


Here are some other reasons might cause Lichen Planus:

  • Drugs containing arsenic, bismuth, or gold.
  • Chemicals used in the development of color photographs.
  • Using drugs such as quinidine.
  • Medications for heart disease, high blood pressure and arthritis.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.



Why should you see a doctor quickly:

Lichen Planus can cause complications that would be difficult to be cured. For example, Lichen Planus on the vulva and in the vagina causes harmful pain and it might leave some scars making sexual dysfunction.

In some cases, Lichen Planus may be developed causing skin cancer called “squamous cell carcinoma.”


Lichen Planus rash
Lichen Planus


What are the symptoms of Lichen Planus:

The symptoms of Lichen Planus differ depending on the place affected. Generally, the symptoms of Lichen Planus are:

  • The appearance of purplish and topped bumps on the skin in different areas such as: the wrist, inner forearm, ankle and the external genitals.
  • Scratching
  • Hair loss and damage to the hair follicles causing lichen planopilaris.
  • Nail damage resulting malformed nails
  • Oral ulcers
  • Vaginal uclers
  • White patches in the mouth



Treatments for Lichen Planus:

Physicians can easily diagnose the rash by looking at it and to be sure they can ask the patient to make skin biopsy. So what are the treatments of Lichen Planus and can people redeem it at home?


It is important to know that Lichen Planus mostly clear itself after few months, but sometimes it can remain for years and as above-mentioned that  the actual cause of Lichen Planus is not known so there is no clear-cut treatment, but some drugs, attitudes and creams that ease the symptoms, especially itching.


How to redeem Lichen Planus in the mouth:

Oral Lichen Planus is the most common type of Lichen Planus and it has white or red gums and patches. Patients who suffer from oral Lichen Planus have to avoid spicy foods since they make Lichen Planus worse.


Home treatments for oral Lichen Planus:

  • Avoid spicy and chilly foods and citrus fruit such as tomatoes.
  • Avoid sharp foods as crisps.
  • Avoid alcohol.
  • Abide to diet.
  • Use mouthwash that does not have alcoholic materials.


Vaginal Lichen Planus:

Vaginal Lichen Planus is very sensitive and causes huge pains: soreness and burning. Treating vaginal Lichen Planus takes time and specific creams might reduce the pain.


Home treatments of Lichen Planus:

  • Warm bath.
  • Avoiding scratching.
  • Green tea.
  • using OTC anti-itch creams
  • Cool compresses on the Lichen Planus.



Lichen Planus rash on legs
Lichen Planus


Here are some treatments help in tackling Lichen Planus:


  • Antihistamine medicines:

These medicines help in reducing scratching and itchy skin. You have to know that antihistamine drugs make you sleeps so it’s advised to be taken at bedtime.

  • Steroid cream:

Steroid ointment play a key role in reducing itching and easing the pain, but not to clear the rash.

  • Emollients:

We have mentioned before that there is no drug or cream can clear Lichen Planus, so  emollients, especially if they are sold, help in reducing the itch.

  • Steroid:

It can be used as a mouthwash or a course of tablets to ease the pain and reduce scratching. Furthermore it might reduce the rash itself depending on the condition. Be aware not to use steroid tablets for more than few weeks and see your doctor before taking any medicine.

  • Immune modulators:

We said that the immune system might attack the skin’s cells causing Lichen Planus and those who suffer from diseases related to the immune system are more likely to have Lichen Planus. In this regard, doctors might ask patients to take immune modulators as: imiquimod and levamisole. Immune modulators play a crucial role in fighting skin gamages.

  • PUVA:

Severe lichen planus might require PUVA.


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