Is Lichen Planus Linked To Other Diseases?

There are many diseases that are not yet well understood, Lichen Planus (LP) being one of them. Regardless, a variety of illnesses are triggered by the presence of other diseases. This often confuses the body’s immune system, making it attack healthy cells in the body. Lichen Planus is a skin condition that is characterized by small itchy pink or purple rashes. These rashes are often observed on the arms and the legs as well. Middle-aged people have higher risks of contracting Lichen Planus, especially females and people with hepatitis C.

What Is Lichen Planus Thought To Be?

Specialists who have encountered patients with Lichen Planus believe it is an autoimmune diseases. What does this mean? Well, an autoimmune disease is a condition whereby healthy body tissues are attacked by its own immune system. There is no approved cure for Lichen Planus, but it clears up on its own with time. On top of that, lichen planus is not an infectious disease, so it cannot be transferred from one person to the other. It is also regarded as a recurrent inflammatory disease that attacks various parts of the body. So, even after a case of lichen planus has resolved after a first attack, it might reappear in the future.

Is Lichen Planus Linked To Other Diseases?

Is Lichen Planus Linked To Other Diseases?

As a T-cell mediated immune response to an unknown cause, there is a high likelihood that Lichen Planus will occur alongside other diseases. Some of these illnesses include; lichen sclerosis, dermatomyositis, ulcerative colitis, morphea, alopecia areata, myasthenia, and vitiligo. With these illnesses, lichen planus coexists with them, but more than often, they have a slight correlation. The coexistence of lichen planus and these diseases intensifies the condition, making it grimmer for the patient.

Lichen Planus is also linked with Hepatitis C virus infection, which has been found to be a major cause of liver diseases. Patients with hepatitis C are more prone to developing lichen planus as a form of one of the symptoms of hepatitis C. If that is the case, then hepatitis C can be treated early enough once lichen planus is present in the body. There has also been a said relationship between lichen planus and hypothyroidism. However, there is no significant association between the two.

What Areas Are Likely To Be Affected By Lichen Planus?

The legs and arms are the most affected areas, but other areas on the can body also be affected. The intensity of the symptoms depends on the body part affected and one’s body reaction to diseases. Lichen planus can also manifest in the mouth, mucous membranes, nails, hair, and genitalia. In the genital areas, mouth and on mucous membranes, lichen planus appears as white patches or streaks with painful sores at times. On the skin, lichen planus looks like flat-topped swellings that are often itchy and pink or purple in color. The condition affects hair through the scalp whereby it causes irritation and redness, resulting in hair loss.

Treating Lichen Planus

Since there is no cure for, there are a few remedies that can help relieve lichen planus symptoms. Some creams and ointments can be applied on the rashes to ease the irritation and itching altogether. Otherwise, steroid tablets and antihistamines can also be a good fix for lichen planus. Home remedies are also a good idea for treating lichen planus, such as applying aloe vera, using essential oils or ginger for oral lichen planus.


Lichen planus is mild to the human body, although when accompanied by other diseases, it might be a bit severe. The persistence of lichen planus can lead to a series of complications, such as permanent darkening of the skin. In the worst case scenario, it can increases risks of cancer, but the odds are close to zero. Use of certain medications or exposure to specific chemicals can lead to lichenoid eruptions that might not necessarily be Lichen Planus. The downside to lichen planus is that there is no cure for it, and to add salt to injury, there is no known cause for its existence.

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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:August 1, 2019

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