Lichen Planus Treatment
Lichen planus is a non-contagious skin condition that causes swelling and irritation in the skin, nails, hair, and mucus membranes. The condition develops over several weeks and presents as itchy, flat bumps that are purple in color. When forming over mucus membranes, lichen planus forms as lacy, white patches that can become painful sores. Spectrum Dermatology of Atlanta provides lichen planus treatment from our talented and skilled medical team.
The itchy, painful bumps that form can cause hair loss when located on the scalp. They can also cause damage to the nail beds and loss of fingernails or toenails. Lichen planus often develops similar in appearance to common poison ivy, so when any unusual rash develops or persists, it is always best to see a dermatologist for diagnosis and treatment.
What Causes Lichen Planus?
Lichen planus occurs when your immune system attacks skin or mucus cells. The cause is unknown, but certain triggers have been identified.
- Reaction to the flu vaccine
- Hepatitis C infection
- Reactions to some OTC pain relievers
- Some medications used for arthritis, heart conditions or high blood pressure
- Certain chemicals, metals, and pigments
Oral lichen planus is most common in middle-aged women. Lichen planus in the genital area can cause sexual dysfunction, and oral lichen planus increases your risk of oral cancer. Lichen planus in the ear canal can cause hearing loss.
Effective Treatment for Lichen Planus
Dr. Susan Spitzler and Dr. Emma Murad of Spectrum Dermatology of Atlanta are experienced dermatologists who can diagnose lichen planus through an examination and a series of tests. These can include skin biopsy and certain allergy tests. Mild forms of lichen planus often clear up on their own without any treatment. Moderate or severe cases, especially those affecting mucus membranes, often do not subside and require medical treatment.
Several therapies for treating lichen planus exist, and Dr. Spitzler or Dr. Murad may recommend a combination of some of them as part of your custom treatment plan. They include:
- Autoimmune medications
- Allergy medications
Learning to recognize and avoid certain factors that trigger your lichen planus are also important. Our skilled medical team can develop a treatment plan focusing on relieving symptoms, eliminating the condition, and preventing its recurrence. Call or message us online today at Spectrum Dermatology of Atlanta if you develop any form of itch rash or skin condition.