What is Lichen Planus?
Lichen planus (LIE-kun PLAY-nus) is a condition that can cause swelling and irritation in the skin, hair, nails and mucous membranes. On the skin, lichen planus usually appears as purplish, itchy, flat bumps that develop over several weeks. In the mouth, vagina and other areas covered by a mucous membrane, lichen planus forms lacy white patches, sometimes with painful sores.
Common Causes of Lichen Planus
Lichen planus occurs when your immune system attacks cells of the skin or mucous membranes. It’s not clear why this abnormal immune response happens. The condition isn’t contagious.
Lichen planus can be triggered by:
- Hepatitis C infection
- Flu vaccine
- Certain pigments, chemicals and metals
- Pain relievers, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen (Aleve, others)
- Certain medications for heart disease, high blood pressure or arthritis
How to Treat Lichen Planus
Medications and other treatments might help relieve itching, ease pain and promote healing. Therapy can be challenging. Talk with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits against possible side effects of treatment.
- Oral anti-infections drugs
- Immune response medicines
- Light Therapy