Lichen planus: symptoms and the most effective treatment in adults

Lichen planus is a multifactorial dermatosis. The disease often affects the inner surface of the ankle joints, forearms, wrist joints, mucous membranes, and infects the nails much less often.

Frequent rashes localized on the scalp tend to end with the development of cicatricial alopecia. The skin is characterized by atrophic changes such as hyperpigmentation and anetodermia. This disease differs from other types of dermatosis only in that it appears against the background of existing problems with various internal organs.

People of all ages suffer from psoriasis, but women of 50-60 years are most susceptible to the disease. In this article, we will look at photos, symptoms, and also the most effective treatment of lichen deprivation in adults at home.

The reasons

Why does lichen edema arise, and what is it? A number of scientific studies have been devoted to the study of this disease in humans. However, the exact causes of this disease are currently unknown. It is believed that the basis of the occurrence of lichen planus lie immunity disorders.

Presumably it develops due to:

  • Nerve failures,
  • viral damage,
  • hereditary predisposition
  • immuno-allergic reactions.

This disease often develops in individuals:

  • middle age (40-60 years),
  • female,
  • with genetic predisposition,
  • suffering from diabetes
  • with injuries of the oral mucosa (due to the sharp edges of the teeth, poor dentures, etc.),
  • with gastrointestinal diseases,
  • after stress.

This type of lichen is characterized by a long and persistent course. Complete cure of flat red lichen is almost impossible. With a certain long-term treatment, you can achieve a prolonged period of remission.

Is it contagious or not?

Given these concepts of the causes and mechanisms of disease development, the answer to this question easily becomes clear.

Despite the fact that the disease is not dangerous in terms of infection, unlike, for example, ringworm, it must be remembered that it is often combined with chronic viral hepatitis “C”, the causative agent of which, under certain conditions, is transmitted from person to person.


Depending on the manifestation, the following types are distinguished:

  1. Typical shape - polygonal plaques of a characteristic pink color with a lilac shade;
  2. Hypertrophic - large nodules and plaques with a warty surface;
  3. Atrophic - with or without hyperpigmentation;
  4. Bullous form is presented in the form of subcutaneous blisters;
  5. Erythematous - a common form with redness of the skin.

The flow of lichen planus can be acute (lasts up to 1 month) or subacute (lasts up to 6 months) and takes a long time (more than 6 months).

Symptoms of lichen planus

When a red flat lichen occurs, the main symptoms in a person appear as a rash on the skin. The lesions rise slightly above the surface of the skin, have a shiny surface and irregular shape.

The color of the spots is crimson-red, the sizes are small. Then the spots begin to grow and merge, forming large plaques on the skin with a flaky surface. The appearance of eruptions in lichen planus is often accompanied by pain and itching. Moreover, the pain is constant and quite intense. As a result, the patient loses appetite and sleep, the development of neurosis is possible.

As a rule, the lichen red prefers to group in small areas and is localized in the following places:

  • elbow bends;
  • forearm surfaces;
  • stomach;
  • thighs;
  • genitals;
  • shins;
  • lower back;
  • armpits.

In some patients, the presence of papules is noted only on the mucous membranes (oral cavity, genitals) without skin lesions. On the surface of the mucous membrane, the papules of the lichen have a characteristic light gray color, arranged in the form of rings with moderate peeling. In a small number of patients, there are changes in the nails: longitudinal ischerennost, clouding of the nail plate itself, redness of the nail bed.

Atypical symptoms

The lichen ruber may also appear in a more unusual form:

  1. Warty form - dark plaques, covered with dense keratinized growth, located only on the front surface of the tibia;
  2. Atrophic (sclerotic) form - atrophic processes predominate, that is, instead of cutaneous epithelium, connective tissue is formed, possibly focal baldness; typical location of lesions on the extensor surfaces of the limbs (a symptom of Lassuir-Littl);
  3. Pemphigoid (blister) form - in addition to the usual rash, there is the appearance of blisters filled with serous or hemorrhagic fluid. This form is also called paraoncological dermatosis, which is diagnosed in patients with malignant tumors of the internal organs .;
  4. Pointed form - along with classical papules, pointy elements appear, perhaps combined with atrophic changes;
  5. Moniliform (necklace-like) variant - the elements of the rash are arranged in the form of clear long strips that resemble the necklace; may spread to the scalp and face;
  6. Ring-shaped - rashes are grouped into a kind of ring with a diameter of up to 20 mm. It is very often observed in the scrotum or on the head of the penis;
  7. Linear variant - a rash, localized along the nerve endings, is considered to be the hallmark of this form. Usually found on the lower limbs or torso along the nerve trunks. This species is often confused with the linear lichen, which has very similar symptoms;
  8. And finally, the most difficult form of the disease is erosive and ulcerative. The theory of this form is quite complex and requires special attention. It manifests flat lichen in the mouth, in the form of ulcers and erosion, the surface of which is covered with fibrous bloom.

Depending on the shape and severity of the symptoms of lichen planus, the treatment regimen in adults is determined.

Red lichen planus: a photo from a person

What looks like a rash with lichen on the skin, as well as the oral mucosa in humans. We offer for viewing detailed photos.


The presence of typical rashes on the skin allows the dermatologist to diagnose lichen planus according to the clinical picture. However, the diversity of clinical manifestations and the existence of rare forms of lichen planus cause certain difficulties of its diagnosis in some cases. This mainly concerns red lichen mucous membranes.

For an accurate diagnosis prescribed examination:

  1. Blood test (for the acute course of the disease is characterized by increased ESR and leukocytes).
  2. Biopsy of the affected areas.
  3. Ultrasound of the internal organs.

Also, a dermatologist may refer a patient for consultation with other specialists (gastroenterologist, endocrinologist, neuropathologist, dentist, geneticist).


Especially unpleasant lichen planus in the genital area, in the vagina. The disease leads to pain, violates sex life. Scars may remain in place of the elements. Sexual dysfunction can persist afterwards for a long time.

There is evidence that lichen planus, although to a small extent, may increase the risk of squamous cell carcinoma. A dermatologist may recommend that you be screened for cancer cells in the lesions.

Pigmentation of the skin in places where there were nodules and plaques, persists for a long time.

Treatment of lichen planus in humans

At home, for an adult person, treatment of lichen planus is selected individually. In each case, the specialist must take into account the conditions under which the disease appeared, the risk factors are important - living conditions and possible foci of infection.

The basics of effective treatment of lichen edema in humans include:

  • Medicinal (tablets, ointments, solutions).
  • Electrocoagulation.
  • Cryodestruction
  • Physiotherapy methods (laser therapy, phototherapy).
  • Herbal medicine (herbal decoctions, herbal ointments).

In addition, to speed up recovery, methods of influencing the factors causing the disease are used:

  • stress management;
  • treatment of oral pathology;
  • elimination of harmful factors in the workplace;
  • correction of the use of previously prescribed drugs;
  • normalization of the diet, etc.

Local therapy includes the use of ointments:

  • Betamethasone.
  • Hydrocortisone 1%.
  • Prednisolone ointment 0.5%.
  • Flumethasone.
  • Triamcinolone.
  • Their other counterparts.

Local remedies for the treatment of this dermatosis can be used both independently and in combination with each other. They can only be prescribed by a doctor, taking into account the shape, severity and stage of the disease.

In addition, to effectively get rid of the disease, it is necessary to use tools and methods that contribute to the normalization of sleep and the correction of the psychosomatic condition - light antidepressants, hypnotics and sedatives, massage of the neck area and head, electrosleep, ionophoresis with sedative electrolytes, darsonval procedures. A certain effect in the complex therapy is provided by the vitamins “A”, “E”, “D”, groups “B”, immunomodulators Neovir, Dekaris.

As a rule, the disease is resolved safely. Recurrent relapse does not occur. But unfortunately, there is also chronic red flat lichen, which can occur both systematically and several times in 1-2 years.


In the treatment plan for dermatosis include physiotherapy techniques:

  1. Laser therapy Laser beams help reduce inflammation, itching and swelling, improve metabolism, accelerate the reverse development of lesions and regeneration of ulcers and erosions, stabilize the functioning of the nervous system.
  2. Magnetotherapy. Magnetic fields reduce the level of inflammatory mediators, improve tissue metabolism, eliminate itching and normalize the work of the nervous system.
  3. PUVA therapy. Acceptance or application of methoxalene to the skin and subsequent irradiation of the lesion of the skin with long-wave ultraviolet helps to slow down the division of skin cells and accelerates the back development of the rash.


A diet with flat lichen requires exclusion from the diet of the following foods:

  • coffee;
  • game;
  • eggs;
  • everything smoked and fatty;
  • alcohol products;
  • colored drinks;
  • concentrated store juices;
  • spicy snacks, spices, seasonings;
  • sweets, especially with dyes and stabilizers.

In order to improve the course of metabolic processes, vitamin therapy is indicated. Directly vitamin A and its derivatives have a beneficial effect on the division of skin cells and reduce the severity of inflammation. A vitamin preparation is prescribed for a period of 2 to 3 weeks with dosages of 25-50 mg.

Folk remedies

In certain cases, in the absence of allergic reactions and other contraindications for the use of medicinal herbs, folk recipes can be used to treat this dermatosis. Before using them, you should always consult a doctor!

For the treatment of this dermatosis can be used such tools:

  • calendula oil or ointment;
  • sea ​​buckthorn oil;
  • Birch tar;
  • decoction of the train;
  • berry and herbal infusion based on juniper berries, nettle leaves, black elderberry flowers, dandelion rhizomes.


Although in most cases the disease does not pose a serious threat to human health, however, sometimes it can provoke certain complications, including:

  1. The appearance of adhesions and scars that can lead to a narrowing of the vagina in women and phimosis in men.
  2. Loss of vision, or narrowing of the lacrimal canal (with eye damage).
  3. Temporary darkening of the skin where the inflammation centers were located.
  4. Scars and cavities on the skin.
  5. Hair loss without the possibility of their subsequent recovery.
  6. Severe deformation of the nail plates.

Lichen planus, which affects the skin, can not lead to cancer. If inflammation occurs in the oral cavity, then such a risk exists. Rebirth does not occur immediately, but over time.

A study was conducted that revealed that after a certain period of lichen planus will lead to the development of oral cancer in 2% of patients.


Despite the fact that the prognosis of the disease for the life of the patient is favorable, in some cases it takes a long time, with relapses and is largely capable of disrupting a person’s psychological and social adaptation.



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