Lichen planus is a common skin condition that affects both men and women of all ages. It appears as flat-topped, itchy, and sometimes painful bumps that can be found on the skin or inside the mouth. These bumps, called lesions, are usually purple or red and have white lines or scales on them.
The cause of lichen planus is not completely understood, but it is believed to be related to an overactive immune system. This means that the body’s defenses mistakenly attack healthy cells in the skin or mucous membranes, causing inflammation and the formation of lesions.
There are several types of lichen planus, including cutaneous lichen planus (affecting the skin), oral lichen planus (affecting the mouth), and genital lichen planus (affecting the genital area). Cutaneous lichen planus is the most common type, and can appear anywhere on the body, but is most often found on the wrists, ankles, lower back, and neck.
There are many symptoms associated with lichen planus, including itching, pain, and burning sensations. In severe cases, lesions can become ulcerated or infected, which can cause additional discomfort and complications. It is important to seek medical attention if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.
There is no known cure for lichen planus, but there are treatments that can help manage symptoms and reduce the frequency and severity of flare-ups. These treatments may include topical or oral medications, light therapy, or lifestyle changes.
It is also important to take steps to care for your skin and prevent further irritation or damage. This may include avoiding harsh soaps or chemicals, using moisturizers, and wearing protective clothing or sunscreen when outside.
Overall, lichen planus is a manageable condition that can be treated with the help of a healthcare provider. By taking steps to care for your skin and seek treatment when needed, you can minimize the impact of this condition on your daily life.
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Consultation & Diagnostics
We’ll take the time to understand & discuss your concerns, including the right course of tests/medications (as needed).
We will offer you the appropriate medications to help manage your condition.
Telephone Follow Up
We will ask you to get in touch to let us know how you’re getting on and if any further action is required.
Consultation (Consultant Doctor) £150 (not inc. in tests)
Consultation (Specialist Nurse) £60 (inc. in tests)
Bacterial Culture & Sensitivity test £150
Fungal Culture & Sensitivity test £150
Bacterial s16 RNA PCR test £250
Fungal s16 RNA PCR test £250
Skin biopsy (with consultant) £250
Medications (in clinic) £30/course
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Page reviewed by Dr. Manoj Malu (Clinical Director)
Last reviewed date: 16 February 2023
Next review due: 16 February 2026
Whilst this content is written and reviewed by sexual health specialists, it is for general guidance only. It is not intended to replace the advice of your clinician.
References & Further Reading
- NHS: Lichen planus
- Mayo Clinic: Lichen planus – Symptoms and causes
- Johns Hopkins Medicine: Lichen Planus
- Dermnet: Lichen planus
- American Association of Dermatology: Lichen planus: Diagnosis and treatment
- MSD Manuals: Lichen Planus
- Cleveland Clinic: Lichen Planus: What It Is, Causes, Types & Treatments
- The Royal Women’s Hospital: Lichen planus