Lichen Planus Treated by Board Certified Dermatologists in Baltimore

Ovarian Cancer Institute at Mercy - Baltimore

Lichen planus is a type of autoimmune disease that affects the skin. The doctors of Dermatology at Mercy are experienced in the diagnosis and careful treatment of complex autoimmune diseases.

About the Condition

Lichen planus is an autoimmune disease that affects the skin. It is an inflammatory condition that appears as a rash on the skin. Lichen planus may also affect areas covered by a mucous membrane, such as the mouth and vagina.

Like other autoimmune diseases, lichen planus occurs when your immune system attacks healthy cells. The exact cause of lichen planus is unknown.

NEXT: Symptoms & Diagnostic Process ›
Symptoms & Diagnostic Process

The signs and symptoms of lichen planus may vary depending on the areas affected.  Lichen planus of the mouth may produce tender and painful spots or ulcers. These spots may gradually increase in size.

Lichen planus of the skin may appear as purple-reddish bumps or blisters, most often on the inner forearm, wrist or ankle, but sometimes on the external genitals. These bumps may be itchy and become painful over time due to scratching. Hair loss is also a common symptom of lichen planus.

Your dermatologist will perform a physical examination and a review of your medical history in order to diagnose lichen planus. Additional tests, such as a biopsy or allergy test, may also be performed.

NEXT: Treatment Options ›
Treatment Options

Treatment for lichen planus will vary depending on the location and severity. In some cases, lichen planus may clear on its own. Treatment is typically aimed at reducing symptoms through the use of medications. In more severe cases, particularly in cases affecting a mucous membrane such as the mouth, lichen planus may be more resistant to treatment.

Discuss your symptoms and severity with Mercy’s dermatologists to determine what treatments are suitable for your needs.