ABC Medical Center > Lichen planus

What is Lichen planus?

21:55 - 4 May , 2021


It is a condition that manifests through flat, reddish rashes that irritate and inflame the skin, and can also appear on the nails and oral, vaginal, and other mucous membranes, forming whitish spots with sores that cause pain.

Skin bumps develop over two to three weeks, are not contagious, and usually do not cause complications, but if the pain and itching are severe, you will need to see your doctor for treatment.

Although lichen planus can affect anyone, its incidence is higher in adults between 40 and 50 years old.

The origin of this condition is an abnormal reaction of the immune system, which attacks the skin and mucous membrane cells.

The exact reason for this autoimmune dysfunction is unknown, but the following have been identified as triggering factors:

  • Painkillers.
  • Pharmacological treatments for cardiovascular diseases, arthritis, and high blood pressure.
  • Hepatitis C.
  • Flu and influenza vaccines.
  • Some chemicals.
  • Certain metals.

Signs and symptoms Lichen planus

  • Oral whitish spots.
  • Oral and vaginal sores that cause pain.
  • Hair loss.
  • Flat, reddish rashes on the arms, legs, and genital area.
  • Scabs formed from burst blisters.
  • Darkening of the skin of the scalp.
  • Injured nails.
  • Itch.
  • Burning.

If you have any of these symptoms, go to your doctor to obtain a timely diagnosis and treatment, preventing complications and larger damage such as:

  • Permanent skin darkening.
  • Oral cancer risk.
  • Partial or total loss of hearing.
  • Sexual problems from vulvar and vaginal scar tissue.
  • Difficulties eating due to oral injuries.

Diagnosis and treatment Lichen planus

Once your doctor analyzes your symptoms and clinical history, they will perform a physical examination examining your type of injuries.

They will also request blood tests to determine if you have hepatitis C, a skin biopsy, and allergy tests.

Flat lichen is usually treated through medicines that control the symptoms and promote healing, such as corticosteroids, immunosuppressants, retinoids, and antihistamines.

Also, phototherapy can be used as a complement, so that healing can be achieved through light. Sometimes it is a recurrent condition, so you have to see your doctor periodically to ensure that it does not return.

At ABC Medical Center’s Internal Medicine Department, we offer health care services with the highest quality and safety, from the prevention, diagnosis, timely treatment, and monitoring of infectious, respiratory, endocrinological, dermatological, rheumatic, nephrological, gastrointestinal, and hematological pathologies of both chronic-degenerative diseases and acute conditions, through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary model.


  • Narváez-Salazar M, Gabasa-Gorgas L, Espiau-Romera A, et al. Liquen plano, variante pápulo-escamosa o clásica: afectación vulvar y extragenital. Ginecol Obstet Mex. 2020;88(09):632-637.
  • Rivera-Reza DI, Villanueva-Vilchis MC, Gaitán-Cepeda LA. Impacto de enfermedades orales asociadas a estrés sobre la calidad de vida. Odovtos-Int J Dent Sc. 2020;22(2):143-156.
  • DíazCLEO,Fernández V, Pombo T, et al. Identificación de apoptosis liquen plano oral con caspasa 3. Rev ADM. 2020;77(2):70-79. doi:10.35366/93098.
  • Ramírez HL, Franco MAC, Eljure LN, et al. Liquen plano: perfil clínico y características demográficas de 129 casos en el Centro Dermatológico de Yucatán. Dermatología Cosmética, Médica y Quirúrgica. 2016;14(3):185-190.

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