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Lichen Planus
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Lichen plans are one of the most common dermatologic diseases. Its lesions are commonly seen on the oral mucous membrane and skin.

Symptoms of Lichen Planus

The skin lesions of lichenplanus appear as small, angular, flat-topped papules, which are few millimeters in diameter. The papules may be present discretely or they may coalesce with each other to form large plaques. These plaques are covered by fine, glistening scale.

The papules are sharply demarcated from the surrounding skin. In the beginning of the disease, the lesions appear red but later on they become reddish purple and finally as the decease progresses, a dirty brownish colour develops. The surface of the lesion may be covered with very called wick ham’s striac.

The lesions are bilaterally, symmetrical located and are commonly seen on the flexor surfaces of the wrist and forearms, the inner surface of the knees and thighs and the trunk. The face commonly remains uninvolved. In chronic case of lichen planus, hypertrophic plaque may be seen especially on the shins area.

The most common symptoms of lichen planus is formation of a serve pruritus that is really intolerable. This skin disease is commonly seen in adults but sometimes children may also be affected. It is seen that is females are more affected with lichen planus than males.

Causes of Lichen Planus

The cause of lichen planus is not exactly known. But it commonly occurs in the nervous, high string persons and is rarely seen in carefree persons.

Generally, the course is long and it takes from months to several years and is also associated with periods of remission followed by exacerbations.

Exacerbations, normally occurs when the patient is suffering from emotional upset, overwork, anxiety or some form of mental strain. There are various other causes of lichen planus like trauma, malnutrition and infection. Immune factors are also responsible for lichen planus disease.

Lichen planus is also known to be associated with diabetes mellitus and vascular hypertension. Hereditary also plays an important role in the development of lichen planus. Hence, the disease is seen in several members of same family.

Oral manifestations of lichen planus:

In oral lichen planus, the female are affected more commonly than males. In the oral cavity, the appearances of the lesions are different than, that of skin lesions. The lesions of oral cavity consists of radiating white or gray, velvety, thread like papules in a linear, annular or retiform arrangement.

They are present commonly. On the buccal mucosa and sometimes on the lips, tongue and palate. A tiny white coloured elevated dot is fond at the intersection of the white lines and it is known as the striae of Wickham.

Treatment of Lichen Planus

There is no specific treatment for lichen planus. In the earlier days, compounds such as arsenicals, mercurials and bismuth were used. Vitamin therapy has also been considered useful in the treatment of lichen planus. The lesion also responds to corticosteroids. Corticosteroid therapy has been used in severe cases to relieve the inflammation and decrease the pruritus of skin lesions.



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