Lichen Planus – Causes and Symptoms of Lichen Planus

Lichen planus is a inflammatory disease condition of skin and mouth. It also affects the genital areas. The inflammation leads to rashes accompanied with polygonal, flat-topped and small bumps. Thus scaly and rough patches are observed on the affected areas. Some dermatologists classify this condition as a autoimmune disease.

It is estimated that about 1 to 2 percent of the world population are affected with the condition. Both men and women are equally affected with skin lichen planus. Women have greater risk of being affected from oral lichen planus.

Causes of Lichen Planus
Lichen planus has no definite causes. It is likely to be affected from immune reactions or allergic conditions. It affects mostly the middle-aged adults. Children are less commonly affected.

The following factors increase the risk of developing lichen planus:

  • Hepatitis C viral infection
  • Some chemical substances, medications and dyes increase the risk of the condition. The risk developing substances are diuretics, phenothiazines, iodides, arsenic, antibiotics, gold, etc.

Symptoms of Lichen Planus
The main sign and symptoms of lichen planus is rash that is itchy. The rashes develop on the lining of nose, mouth, vagina, anus, penis, scalp, lower back and inner sides of wrists, forearms and ankles. The rash leads to scarring especially in the areas of scalp and nails.

Common signs and symptoms of Lichen Planus include:

  • Severe itching
  • Bumps that vary in color from red, pink to purple
  • Scalp – Hair thinning, hair loss, irritation and redness of scalp
  • Nails – Thinning, splitting, grooving and nail loss
  • Mucous membrane – Burning sensation and soreness

Lichen planus on initial attack remains for few weeks to months. The condition may revert back for many years. After the rash subsides, some gray darkish spots remain on the skin.

Signs and symptoms of oral lichen planus

  • Small delicate, raised bumps form inside the cheeks and tongue
  • Red and shiny patches on the cheeks and tongue that are hardly noticeable
  • Soreness and redness inside the mouth
  • Dry mouth
  • Itching, burning sensation and pain in the mouth
  • Blunted taste sensation

When to consult a medical professional
If you seem to experience itching and rash formation in the areas of mouth or genitals, seek the medical professional help immediately. The doctor can hence diagnose the disease condition and suggest a proper treatment so that the signs and symptoms do not worsen.

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