Lichen planus is an unusual skin condition affecting the skin and mucous membranes. The condition occurs when a trigger stimulates the immune system to begin targeting specific skin cells. Fortunately, around 85% of those who develop lichen planus will see it disappear within 18 months.
Lichen planus can appear on the skin in a few different ways, including:
- Classic form – Flat-topped, shiny papules that range in size from quite small to large. These are an angry purple colour and can be criss-crossed with very fine white lines known as ‘Wickham’s striae’.
- Oral form – Affects around 50% of those with the condition. It appears on the tongue and cheeks as white streaks, ulcers and redness. The gums may even peel during an outbreak of this condition.
- Genital form – Appears in the same way as the oral form but is located in the genital area. The condition tends to be more severe in females than males. It can be very painful and cause significant scarring in this area.
- Planopilaris – This subtype can cause a scarring alopecia (hair loss)
It is important to have a medical specialist manage this condition. A full skin and mucous membrane examination is required. This is to determine the most appropriate treatment. Currently most dermatologists will consider using:
- Strong topical steroids – These are potent or ultra-potent prescription corticosteroid creams. They are applied to the lesions and used to reduce the inflammation.
- Injections – A localised steroid injection may be required for thicker lesions.
- Systemic steroids – These are used over the course of a few weeks to attempt to settle the eruption in its early stages.
- Immunosupressive agents including cyclosporin
- Acitretin, isotretinoin
The price of lichen planus treatment varies for each person depending on the extent of treatment necessary. Booth Dermatology & Cosmetic Care Center of Indianapolis and Carmel accepts CareCredit® financing options that work with every budget! Please speak to our concierge team for more information.
Dr. Sally A. Booth and her staff will be happy to discuss the details with you. Please feel free to call for a private consultation at one of our offices in Carmel or Indianapolis. Dr. Booth and his staff at Booth Dermatology & Cosmetic Care Center provide personalized care to residents of Indianapolis and Carmel with state-of-the-art technology for optimal health, aesthetics, and patient satisfaction. To receive more information or schedule a consultation, call (317) 848-2427 to speak with our friendly staff.