Lichen Planus

lichen planus
lichen planus

lichen planus
lichen planus

lichen planus
lichen planus


 is a disease of the skin and mucous membranes that resembles lichen. It is thought to be the result of an autoimmune process

with an unknown initial trigger. There is no cure, but many different medications and procedures have been used to control only the symptoms

The overall prevalence of lichen planus in the general population is about 0.1 - 4%. It generally occurs more commonly in females, in a ratio of 3:2,

and most cases are diagnosed between the ages of 30 and 60, but it can occur at any age

Oral lichen planus is relatively common, It is one of the most common mucosal diseases. The prevalence in the general population is about 1.27-2.0%,

and it occurs more commonly in females than males

Signs and symptoms

Although lichen planus can present with a variety of lesions, the most common presentation is as a well-defined area of purple-coloured,

itchy, flat-topped papules with interspersed lacy white lines (Wickham's striae).This description is known as the characteristic "6 P's" of lichen planus:

planar (flat-topped),purple,polygonal, pruritic, papules, and plaques.


The cause of lichen planus is unknown, but it is not contagious and does not involve any known pathogen.

It is thought to be a T cell mediated autoimmune reaction (where the body's immune system targets its own tissues

This autoimmune, T cell mediated process is thought to be in response to some antigenic change in the oral mucosa, but a specific antigen has not been identified.

Drug reactions, with the most common inducers including gold salts, beta blockers, antimalarials, thiazide diuretics, furosemide, spironolactone, Metformin and penicillamine.

Reactions to amalgam (metal alloys) fillings.

Graft-versus-host disease lesions, which chronic lichenoid lesions seen on the palms, soles, face and upper trunk after several months.

Hepatitis, specifically hepatitis B and hepatitis C infection, and primary biliary cirrhosis.

It has been suggested that lichen planus may respond to stress, where lesions may present during times of stress.It has also been suggested that mercury exposure may contribute to lichen