How Long Does It Take For Lichen Planus To Go Away?

Lichen planus is an inflammatory disease suffered by about one percent of the general population. It usually affects the skin, mouth and sometimes both. It can also affect the skin of the genitals. Lichen planus cause is unknown. There are cases of lichen planus rashes that appear as an allergic reaction to medications for the treatment of hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, and arthritis. In these cases, identifying and stopping the use of drugs helps to resolve the disease in a few weeks.

How Long Does It Take For Lichen Planus To Go Away?

How Long Does It Take For Lichen Planus To Go Away?

After a correct treatment, the lesion usually goes way. There have even been cases of spontaneous resolution without treatment. However, there may be recurrences after the first, even years later.

After the healing of the inflammatory lesions, there is usually a brownish discoloration of the skin in the areas where the lesions were previously. Generally, this pigmentation disappears with the passage of time.

Lichen Planus in The Skin

It is characterized by elevated and purple or reddish plates that can sting a lot. They can appear anywhere on the body but are most often seen on the inside of wrists and ankles. The disease can also affect the lower back, neck, legs, genitals, and in isolated cases, the scalp and nails. Sometimes thicker lesions are seen, especially in the shins. The appearance of blisters is infrequent. Although the typical appearance of lichen planus facilitates its identification, a skin biopsy may be necessary to confirm the diagnosis. Lichen planus has a predilection for the inside of wrists and ankles.

In some cases, lichen planus of the skin causes few problems and does not require treatment and goes away on its own. However, in many cases the itching is severe. Most of the time, the disease goes away in about two years. Once healthy, lichen planus usually leaves a dark brown mark on the skin, which also tends to disappear on its own.

Lichen Planus of the Mouth

Oral lichen planus usually affects the inside of the cheeks, gums, and tongue. This type of lichen planus is much more difficult to treat and typically lasts much longer than cutaneous lichen planus. Fortunately, most cases of oral lichen planus cause minimal problems. Oral lichen is characterized by presenting as plates with fine lines and white dots. These changes do not usually cause problems and it is often the dentist who detects them during the control visits.

Oral lichen planus is much more difficult to treat and typically lasts much longer than cutaneous lichen planus. There is no known cure for oral lichen planus, although several treatments are available to eliminate the pain of the lesions. If there is no pain or stinging, no treatment is required. The most severe forms of lichen planus, those with pain, burning, redness, blisters, wounds, and ulcers, can be treated with a variety of medications, both topical and oral. Like any other disease of the mouth, lichen planus can lead to poor dental hygiene and gum disease (periodontal disease). For this reason, it is advisable to visit the dentist regularly for examinations and dental cleaning at least twice a year.

Lichen Planus of the Genitals

About one in five women with oral lichen planus will develop lichen planus in the vaginal area. If this is moderate, vaginal lichen planus may not cause problems, but reddened areas or open wounds can cause pain, especially during intercourse. The lichen planus of the genitals is much less common in men than in women.

The Implication of the Nails

In some cases of lichen planus changes in the nails are observed. Most of these changes respond to lesions of the nail matrix or the nail root. Generally, only some fingers or toes are affected and rarely, it affects all the fingers. Nail alterations associated with lichen planus include longitudinal lines and grooves, broken nails and thinning or loss of nails. In severe cases, the nails are temporarily or permanently destroyed.

Hair Implication

In a few cases, lichen planus can affect hairy areas such as the scalp and cause redness, irritation and even permanent baldness.

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Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:November 22, 2019

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