• Skin rash triggered by the immune system
  • Inflammatory condition that can affect the skin, hair, nails
  • Appears as purplish, often itchy, flat-topped bumps


  • Purplish, flat-topped bumps, on the inner forearm, wrist or ankle
  • Itching
  • Blisters that may break to form scabs or crusts
  • Lacy white patches in the mouth
  • Painful oral or vaginal ulcers
  • Hair loss and scalp discoloration
  • Nail damage or loss
  • Thin white lines over the rash


  • Hepatitis C infection
  • Flu vaccine
  • Certain pigments, chemicals and metals
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Certain medications for heart disease, high blood pressure

Risk Factors

  • Often affects middle-aged adults
  • Having family members who’ve had lichen planus
  • Taking antimalarial tablets
  • Taking gold injections for arthritis

Diagnostic Tests

  • Based on your symptoms
  • Based on medical history
  • Physical examination
  • Biopsy
  • Hepatitis C tests
  • Allergy Tests


  • No cure for lichen planus
  • Symptoms are treated
  • Non-steroidal creams
  • Soaking in an oatmeal bath
  • Avoiding scratching
  • Applying cool compresses to the rash
  • Using OTC anti-itch creams


  • Acitretin
  • Retinoids are taken topically or orally
  • Corticosteroids
  • Antihistamines

Lifestyle Management

  • Tub soaked with colloidal oatmeal (Aveeno, others)
  • Cool compresses
  • Over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream or ointment
  • Avoid Smoking
  • Avoid eating sharp food, such as crusty bread
  • Avoid drinking alcohol