Lichen planus

Lichen planus is a condition that forms an itchy rash on the skin or in the mouth.

Lichen planus - close-up

Lichen planus - close-up: Lichen planus is an intensely itchy (pruritic) inflammatory lesion of the skin. The lesions are generally violaceous (red-purple), slightly raised bumps (papules) with fine scales. The papules may run together (coalesce) to form a larger raised surface (plaque). This is a condition usually seen in adults, although it can occur in children.

Lichen nitidus on the abdomen

Lichen nitidus consists of tiny flesh colored to pink raised lesions (papules). The papules are asymptomatic but persist for long periods of time. They generally occur only on the abdomen, flexor surfaces of the elbows and palms, and on the male genitalia.

Lichen planus on the arm

The cause of lichen planus is unknown. It appears as raised, many-sided purple bumps (violaceous polygonal papules) with overlying white lines (Wickham's striae). It commonly involves the wrists (flexor surface), lower back (lumbar region), shins, and ankles. The lesions often itch. Females are more frequently affected than males and the age range is approximately 30 to 60 years of age.

Lichen planus on the hands

The cause of lichen planus is unknown. It appears as raised, many-sided purple bumps (violaceous polygonal papules) with overlying white lines (Wickham's striae). It commonly involves the wrists (flexor surface), lower back (lumbar region), shins, and ankles. The lesions often itch. Females are more frequently affected than males and the age range is approximately 30 to 60 years of age. This is a less common variant, shown here with scales.

Lichen planus on the oral mucosa

Oral lichen planus occurs in about half of the people who have lichen planus on their skin. It consists of painless, whitish streaks on the mucous membranes. This may also produce ulcers, which are usually painful.

Lichen striatus - close-up

Lichen striatus begins similarly to lichen planus, with small bumps (papules), but over a period of days expands to form a long streak or band of affected skin. The condition clears spontaneously (without medication) over a period of months. This condition is seen frequently in children less than 16 years old, but may also occur in adults.

Lichen striatus on the leg

Lichen striatus begins similarly to lichen planus, with small bumps (papules), but over a period of days expands to form a long streak or band of affected skin. It clears over a period of months without needing treatment. This condition is seen frequently in children less than 16 years old but, also occurs in adults.

Lichen striatus - close-up

Lichen striatus begins similarly to lichen planus, with small bumps (papules), but over a period of days expands to form a long streak or band of affected skin. The condition clears spontaneously over a period of months. This condition is seen frequently in children less than 16 years old, but also occurs in adults.

Causes

Symptoms

Exams and Tests

Treatment

Outlook (Prognosis)

Possible Complications

When to Contact a Medical Professional