Lichen planus pigmentosus

What causes lichen planus pigmentosus?

The underlying cause of lichen planus pigmentosus is currently unknown. However, studies suggest that the condition may be triggered by viral infections, UV light or the application of certain oils to the hair or skin (i.e. mustard oil, amla oil, or henna hair dyes).

Last updated on 05-01-20

How is lichen planus pigmentosus diagnosed?

A diagnosis of lichen planus pigmentosus is usually suspected based on the presence of characteristic signs and symptoms. A skin biopsy may then be ordered to confirm the diagnosis.

Last updated on 05-01-20

What is the long-term outlook for people with lichen planus pigmentosus?

The long-term outlook (prognosis) for people with lichen planus pigmentosus (LPP) is generally good. Aside from the characteristic macules and patches on the skin, many people do not have any other symptoms. In those who do experience itching and/or burning of the skin or other features of lichen planus, symptoms usually improve with treatment. Unfortunately, LPP is generally a chronic, relapsing condition with periods of exacerbations (worsening symptoms) separated by periods of remission (a decrease in or disappearance of symptoms).

Last updated on 05-01-20

How might lichen planus pigmentosus be treated?

There is currently no consensus about treatment for lichen planus pigmentosus (LPP). Management includes avoiding things that make it worse in each case, such as sun exposure or friction in body folds (via weight loss or wearing loose clothing).

No treatment options have shown consistent responses, and evidence of successful treatment has been limited to a few case series. Treatment options may include:

In some cases, LPP goes away on its own within weeks. In other cases, pigmentation persists for years.

Last updated on 05-01-20


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The RareGuru disease database is regularly updated using data generously provided by GARD, the United States Genetic and Rare Disease Information Center.

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