Lichen planus
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                      planus on the wrist
Lichen planus: a short introduction.

What is lichen planus?

Lichen planus is a common skin disease. The cause of lichen planus is not exactly known but it may be due to activation of the immune system provoked by a drug or viral infection. It may affect any area of the skin and mucosa.

Symptoms of lichen planus

Lichen planus in its most characteristic form presents with very itchy, flat-topped, skin-coloured to purple papules. They range in size from a few millimeters to several centimeters. They can be clustered or widespread. Typically they are crossed with fine white lines called 'Wickham's striae'. Although they can arise anywhere on the skin they are most often seen on the wrists and ankles. Other specific areas are the lower back, the mouth and the penis.

Diagnosis of lichen planus

In most cases of lichen planus of the skin the experienced dermatologist is able to diagnose lichen planus without additional tests. When in doubt the doctor will perform a skin biopsy procedure. Laboratory tests on viral infections (hepatitis) may be performed.


Lichen planus often responds well to topical steroids. In severe cases systemic steroids such as prednisolon can be prescribed. Other treatments include phototherapy and acitretin. In the majority of cases lichen planus will fade away in. This process, however, can take months to be completed.
lichen planus on the

lichen planus on the

lichen planus on the
lichen planus
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