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Lichen Planus

What is Lichen Planus?

Lichen planus is a skin disease. It usually affects middle-aged adults. Lichen planus is usually found on the inner wrists, forearms and ankles but it can appear on any area of the skin, including the scalp, nails and the inside of the mouth.

When lichen planus develops on the scalp, hair loss may occur. When lichen planus develops on the nails, the nails will become brittle and split.

What does Lichen Planus look like?

Lichen planus looks like purple or reddish-purple bumps on the skin. The bumps have flat tops and are uneven in shape. If you look at the bumps closely, you might see white scales or flakes on them.

What causes Lichen Planus?

The exact cause of lichen planus is unknown. You can't "catch" lichen planus from someone else or "give" it to someone else.

Symptoms of Lichen Planus

The most common symptoms of lichen planus are:

  • itchy skin
  • purple or reddish bumps on the skin
  • painful sores inside the mouth

How is Lichen Planus Diagnosed?

If you have itchy skin with purple or reddish bumps, you should see a doctor. Your doctor will examine your skin and take a blood test to see if you have lichen planus.

Can Lichen Planus be Treated?

Lichen planus cannot be cured. Treatments are designed to minimize the symptoms.

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