Lichen Planus New Jersey

Many people get lichen (LY-kin) planus (PLAN-us). This disease can develop on one or several parts of the body. It can appear on the skin or inside the mouth. Sometimes, it appears in both places. Lichen planus can even change the way a person’s fingernails or toenails look. It also can appear on the genitals or a person’s scalp. Lichen planus is not contagious. You cannot get this disease from someone else, and you cannot give it to anyone.

There is no cure for lichen planus. It often goes away on its own. If symptoms are bothersome, treatment often brings relief and may speed healing. Treatment for the skin may include:

  • Antihistamines: Pills that help alleviate itching.
  • Topical (applied to the skin) corticosteroid: Cream or ointment to reduce swelling and redness.
  • Corticosteroid: Pills (such as prednisone) or shots can help when lichen planus lasts a long time or a patient has many bumps or painful sores.
  • PUVA therapy: A type of light treatment that can help clear the skin.
  • Retinoic acid: Applied to the skin or given as a pill to clear the skin.
  • Tacrolimus ointment or pimecrolimus cream: Used to treat another skin problem, eczema.

When lichen planus develops in the mouth, it often does not cause pain or other symptoms. If this is the case, treatment may not be necessary. When lichen planus causes pain, burning, redness, blisters, sores, or ulcers, it can be treated. Some medicine is applied to the sores. Other medicine comes in pill form.  Any mouth disease can lead to gum disease. It is important to brush and floss as directed by your dentist. You also should keep all appointments with your dentist and get cleanings at least twice a year.