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Lichen planus


Lichen Planus Causes

Lichen Planus Causes and Treatment

Lichen planus causes swelling and irritation of the skin, nails, hair, and mucous membranes. When affecting the skin, it appears as a purplish-flat itchy bump usually developed over several weeks.In the vagina, tongue, and other areas with mucous membrane covering, lichen planus creates a lacy white patchand sometimes, it comes with painful sores.

Mild cases of lichen planus can be managed at home without medical care. However, if you have pain or significant itching from the condition, you may need to visit the doctor for prescription drugs.Lichen planus is not contagious.

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Symptoms of lichen planus

There are several symptoms of lichen planus, and they vary based on the area affected.Some of these signs and symptoms include:

  • A flat bump with purple colour appears on the inner forearm,ankle or wrist, and sometimes the genitals
  • Itching
  • Lacy white patches on the lips or tongue
  • Blisters that formscabs or crusts when they break
  • Painful sores in the vagina or mouth
  • Any nail loss or damage
  • Hair loss
  • Changes in the colour of the scalp
Lichen Planus Symptoms

When should I see a doctor?

If you see tiny bumps or rashes appearing on your skin for no reason, such as contact with poison ivy or known allergic reactions, you must see your doctor. Also, visit your doctor if you have any signs and symptoms of lichen planus on your genitals, scalp, mouth, or nails.

We advise you to have a prompt and accurate diagnosis and treatment since a wide variety of mucosal and skin conditions can cause lesions and discomfort.

Causes of lichen planus

Lichen planus usually occurs when your immune system attacks your skin cells or mucous membrane. Studies are yet to show why the immune system has this abnormal response. Also, this condition cannot be transferred to others.

The following are the most prevalent triggers of lichen planus;

  • Hepatitis C infection
  • Flu vaccine
  • Some medications for heart disease, arthritis, or high blood pressure
  • Some chemicals, metals, and pigments
  • Pain relievers like ibuprofen (Advil Motrin IB, etc.), and naproxen (like Aleve, etc.)

Risk factors

Lichen planus can be developed by everyone, but the condition is most prevalent in middle-aged adults. Most commonly, oral lichen planus mainly affects middle-aged women.


It is usually most challenging to manage lichen planus when it appears on the vulva and vagina. It can cause very severe pain and sometimes leave scars. Lichen planus affecting the genitals usually leads to sexual dysfunction.

Lichen planus on the skin makes it slightly darker even after the rashes are gone, especially in dark-skinned people.When it appears as an oral sore, it affects one’s ability to eat.

People with oral lichen planus have an increased risk of oral cancer. When this condition is not treated, lichen planus of the ear can cause hearing loss.


Lichen planus is severe when it affects areas covered with membranes like the tongue, vagina, or ear canal. You must seek treatment immediately before it causes severe damage.

If you notice any of the above symptoms, visit Smile Clinic London to consult a dental specialist about the needed treatment procedure. You can also call 020 7139 8611 or email to schedule an appointment with our dental specialist.