10 Lichen Planus Symptoms

By sarah-jane
Reviewed: dr. vanta
Article Sources Article Sources
  • 1. 'Lichen Planus.' British Association of Dermatologists, September 2014, www.bad.org.uk/shared/get-file.ashx?id=168&itemtype=document. Pamphlet
  • 2. 'Lichen Planus: Signs and Symptoms.' American Academy of Dermatology, www.aad.org/public/diseases/a-z/lichen-planus-symptoms
  • 3. Welz-Kubiak, Kalina, and Adam Reich. 'Mediators of Pruritus in Lichen Planus. Autoimmune Diseases, vol. 2013, 2013, pp. 1-4, doi:10.1155/2013/941431
  • 4. Usatine, Richard P., and Michelle Tinitigan. 'Diagnosis and Treatment of Lichen Planus.' American Family Physician, vol. 84, no. 1, 1 July 2011, pp. 53-60, www.aafp.org/afp/2011/0701/p53.html
  • 5. 'Lichen Planopilaris.' British Association of Dermatologists, April 3013, https://www.bad.org.uk/shared/get-file.ashx?id=97&itemtype=document. Pamphlet
  • 6. Great Western Hospitals. 'Lichen Planus of the Vulva.' NHS, December 2018, www.gwh.nhs.uk/media/343574/Lichen-Planus-of-the-Vulva.pdf. Pamphlet
  • 7. Khurana, Ananta, et al. 'Genital lichen planus: An underrecognized entity.' Indian Journal of Sexually Transmitted Diseases and AIDS, vol. 40, no. 2, 2019, p. 105, doi:10.4103/ijstd.IJSTD/45/19
  • 8. 'Lichen Planus.' DermNet NZ , dermnetnz.org/topics/lichen-planus/
Medical Expert Medical Expert

Lichen planus is a type of rash that can appear in different parts of the body. It's named after its appearance, with lichen meaning small skin bumps and planus, meaning flat. Lichen planus is neither hereditary nor contagious. Although not widely understood, it is thought to be an autoimmune disorder.

Statistically, lichen planus affects up to 1 percent of the global population. While there is no cure, it commonly resolves within around 18 months, though lichen planus in the mouth can take longer to disappear. There are diverse lichen planus symptoms and various methods to control the condition, depending on the severity and location.1‘Lichen Planus.’ British Association of Dermatologists, September 2014, www.bad.org.uk/shared/get-file.ashx?id=168&itemtype=document. Pamphlet

Bumps on the Skin

A lichen planus rash can occur on the skin anywhere around the body. It commonly manifests on the wrists, ankles and lower back, though some individuals may have a rash in the genital area.

Lichen planus typically causes bumps that are a purple-red color, though a rash on the legs may be darker. Fine white lines, known medically as Wickham's striae, may pass through the bumps. Skin lumps are usually hard and may be shiny. Some people have just a few bumps, while others have many. New lichen planus bumps can appear as older bumps resolve.2‘Lichen Planus: Signs and Symptoms.’ American Academy of Dermatology, www.aad.org/public/diseases/a-z/lichen-planus-symptoms

Lichen Planus

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