Lichen Planus is a rash that typically affects adults and can manifest along any portion of the body, though it has been known to show a predilection for wrists, ankles, and genital tissue.
What is Lichen Planus?
The term refers to a chronic recurrent rash. Characterized by small, flat-topped bumps with various sides, lichen planus is triggered by the immune system (for reasons no one really understands).
The bumps in question grow together, becoming rough scaly plaques on the skin. Medical experts do not really understand this condition as well as they might claim. Lichen Planus got its name because the resulting rash looks like a lichen (to some people), which is a plant that grows on rocks and tree bark.
Lichen Planus is not really that serious an illness. It is also not contagious. However, there are various variations of Lichen Planus out there that are quite serious and painful.
Symptoms To Look Out For
When you contract this illness, you can expect the following symptoms to manifest:
- The symptom most notably associated with this disease are purple lesions with flat tops that manifest on the skin or even the genitals. If the disease is left untreated, these lesions can spread all over the body.
- These lesions or bumps are normally accompanied by itching.
- In some cases, white lesions will appear in the mouth, attracting a burning sensation.
It should be noted that the manifestation of lichen planus will vary with each individual. As such, the intensity of the symptoms, which can be offset gradually or suddenly, will also vary.
In most cases, this illness attacks the skin, with the lesions spreading over a period of a few weeks and the condition eventually clearing up after a number of months. In a select few situations, lesions will appear in the nails, scalp, and mucous membrane.
Causes of Lichen Planus
Considering how sudden the onset of Lichen Planus can be, it is understandable why so many people would seek to understand what causes this particular illness. Lichen planus occurs as a result of an immune response.
It is presently unclear why the body would attack the skin or mucous membrane by mistake. Some medical experts think factors like allergens, stress, viral infections and genetics might play a part.
While this illness can manifest at any age, it is rare among children and the elderly. Middle-aged men and women face the highest risk of contracting this illness.
Make an effort to consult your local Irvine California physician the moment you take note of a persistent rash on your skin or lesions in your mouth. If your average personal care physician struggles to identify your illness, they will send you to the best Irvine dermatologist who will use your symptoms to come to a conclusion about your situation.
While some doctors can identify the disease with a look, others might need to do a biopsy.
How To Treat This Condition
How do you treat Lichen Planus? Sometimes this illness clears up all on its own, without any treatment, though you might have to wait months. Where the symptoms prove too severe, your doctor should be able to prescribe a few effective medications, this including antihistamines (to reduce inflammation), retinoids, corticosteroids and light therapy. Patients with Lichen Planus are encouraged to avoid scratching their lesions.