Lichen planus is an inflammatory skin condition characterized by an itchy, non-contagious rash on the arms and legs consisting of small, multi-sided, flat, pink or purple bumps that many dermatologists believe may be caused by autoimmune conditions. But what are the ways to treat it? This is what we will know with the Freshness Center for Dermatology, Laser and Cosmetology in Hurghada.
Causes of lichen planus
Scientists believe that lichen planus is caused by an autoimmune disorder in which inflammatory cells attack a protein unknown in the body, mucosal keratinocytes. Aids in lichen planus may include:
- Genetic factors.
- Physical and emotional stress.
- Skin injury. Lichen planus often appears where the skin has been scratched, or after surgery, and this is called the Koebner phenomenon.
- Localized skin disease, such as herpes zoster.
- Systemic viral infection, such as hepatitis C (which may modify self-antigens on the surface of keratinocytes basophils).
- Contact allergy (rare).
- Certain treatments. Quinine, quinidine, and others can cause a lichenoid rash.
- Graft-versus-host disease, a complication of bone marrow transplantation.
Risk factors for lichen planus
About 1 in 100 people will have lichen planus at some time, and it does not result in infection, and you cannot pass it on to others. Lichen planus usually affects middle-aged men and women, and an equal number of them develop lichen planus of the skin, but women are more likely to get lichen Oral lichen. This disease is rare in very young or old people.
What are the symptoms of lichen planus?
Symptoms of lichen planus depend on which part is affected. Common symptoms include:
The most common symptoms are shiny red or purple bumps. These bumps are hard and may itch a little or a lot, and you may have a few or many of them. The bumps may have streaks, or tiny white scales, and they can occur anywhere, but they're most common on your wrists, arms, back and ankles.
Thick, scaly patches may appear on your legs and ankles, and sometimes, bumps may appear on your skin in an area where your skin has been scratched or burned. Dark skin patches may replace fading bumps, and these spots usually fade after several months.
- the mouth.
Lichen planus inside your mouth looks like mottled patches of small white dots. These spots may appear on the inside of your cheeks or tongue. They may not cause any other symptoms, but in severe cases, redness and sores appear.
Lichen planus may appear on a few or all of your nails, and thinning of the edges, splitting, and nail loss are signs of the condition.
Lichen planus of the scalp is characterized by redness, irritation and small bumps on the scalp. In some cases, the hair begins to thin, and hair loss may occur.
Infection of the genitals with lichen planus may produce bright red, painful areas.
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How is lichen planus diagnosed?
Your doctor may diagnose lichen planus based on changes in your skin or in your mouth. To confirm the diagnosis, your doctor will take a biopsy, remove the oral mucosa, or a small piece of skin, and send it for examination under a microscope.
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lichen planus treatment
For mild cases of lichen planus, which usually clear up within weeks or months, you may not need any treatment, but if symptoms are bothersome or severe, your doctor can prescribe medication.
There is no cure for lichen planus, but medications that treat symptoms are helpful, and some may be able to target a possible underlying cause. Most prescribed medications include:
- Retinoids, taken orally, or topically applied to the skin.
- corticosteroids; They reduce inflammation, and they can be topical, taken by mouth, or given by injection.
- antihistaminesThey reduce inflammation, and may be especially useful if the rash is caused by an allergen.
- Topical non-steroidal creams, which can suppress the immune system and help clear up the rash.
- UV treatment.
There are other treatments you can do at home with prescribed treatments for lichen planus, and these include:
- Soaking in an oatmeal bath.
- Avoid scratching.
- Put cold compresses on the rash.
- Applying anti-itch creams without a doctor's prescription.
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Prevention of lichen planus
There's not much you can do to prevent lichen planus, but once you have it, you can take steps to prevent it from getting worse.
- Avoid injuring your skin.
- Apply cold compresses instead of scratching.
- Reduce stress in your life.
- For oral lichen planus, stop smoking, drinking alcohol, maintaining good oral hygiene, and avoiding foods that irritate the mouth.
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Lichen planus is not classified as a serious disease, and it may disappear without treatment on its own, but the disease may return again, so if you experience any of the above symptoms, you should go to a freshness center to consult a dermatologist - Dr. Amani Al Tawabti.