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Lichen Planus is a condition characterized by swelling and irritation in the mucous membranes of the body, as well as the skin, hair and nails. It often appears as pulish itch bumps on the skin and develops over several weeks. In areas related to the mucous membrane, lichen planus presents in the form of lacy white patches. This manageable condition is often treated at home but can require medical intervention when it becomes painful.
The signs and symptoms of lichen planus vary depending on where it is on the body. Signs can include:
Lichen planus is caused by the immune system attacking the cells of the skin or mucous membranes. It is not known why the immune system behaves in this way. Lichen planus is not contagious and does not come from a lack of hygiene.
While it can happen to anyone, lichen planus most often appears in women during middle age.
In many cases, lichen planus can clear up on its own. When it is present in the mucous membranes, it can be more resistant to treatment. Your doctor can advise you on home remedies as well as medical interventions, including:
If you are pregnant or nursing, your doctor may want to avoid retinoids. Whatever intervention you use should be done in careful consultation with your physician.
All cases of lichen planus are not the same, therefore we recommend seeing a specialist to help determine which treatment option is the best for you.