Lichen Planus

Serving Hamilton, Stoney Creek, Grimsby and surrounding areas

Lichen Planus – Chest

Lichen Planus – Wrist

Lichen Planus – Wrist

Lichen Planus – Mouth

Lichen Planus:

  • Is pronounced Like-En Plan-us
  • Is an extremely itchy rash
  • Usually appears on the wrists, hands, feet, in the mouth and on the genitals
  • May appear as fine white lines in the mouth, and may produce open sores
  • Is not caused by diet
  • May be made worse by stress
  • Is not contagious
  • Does not usually scar, but may leave behind brown marks that take months or years to fade
  • Is of unknown cause, although there is evidence that a virus may be associated with it in a small number of people
  • Has no cure
  • Usually last 3 to 4 years in the mouth and 1 to 4 years on the body

Treatment:

Topical Corticosteroids (Steroids, Cortisone):

  • Cortisone creams (topical corticosteroids), lotions and gels are moderately effective
  • They are used twice daily on the affected areas until the spots disappear or turn brown
    • At that point the steroids should be stopped
  • Topical corticosteroids must be used for at least a month to see if they are going to be effective
  • The most common side effect would include, but not be limited to:  thinning of the skin in the area to which they are being applied
    • This may appear as stretch marks, dimpling of the skin or bruising

Intralesional Steroids (Cortisone Injections):

  • Cortisone injections work much better than the creams, gels and lotions
  • The cortisone is injected directly into the affected areas
  • A lesion 5 cm (2 inches) in diameter would require about 8 injections
  • The injections are repeated at monthly intervals
  • The main side effect from the injections includes, but is not limited to: thinning of the skin
    • This may appear as stretch marks, dimpling of the skin or bruising
  • Skin thinning will usually resolve spontaneously once treatment is stopped

Pills:

  • In severe cases pills may be used
  • Please discuss your treatment options with your doctor