Complications of lichen planus may include discoloured skin and, in some cases, erosive lichen planusmay develop into certain types of cancer.
After the lichen planus rash has cleared up, the affected area of skin may be a different colour to what it was originally. There may be a brown or grey mark, which can sometimes last for months. This is known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, and tends to be more noticeable in people with darker skin.
Erosive lichen planus is a long-lasting (chronic) form of lichen planus that causes painful ulcers to develop, as well as burning and discomfort in the genital areas of bothmale and females.
Occasionally, in around 2% of cases, long-term cases of erosive lichen planus can develop into certain types of Predictive genetic test for cancer risk genes , such as:
Regularly examining yourself and being aware of any changes that occur will help you to identify any problems at an early stage. Pay close attention to ulcerated areas in your mouth or genitals that don't heal and persist for a long time. Visit your GP immediately if you notice any changes that you're concerned about.
You should also visit your dentist regularly to ensure that your teeth and gums remain healthy, and that any ulcers or patches that form in your mouth are examined and treated promptly. Depending on individual circumstances, dentalcheck-ups for adultsare recommended anywhere between every 3 to 24 months.
, including self-help tips for managing all types of the condition.
Lichen planus is a non-infectious, itchy rash that can affect many areas of the body.
The symptoms of lichen planus vary, depending on which area of the body is affected. Affected areas can include the skin, mouth, penis and vulva.
The cause of lichen planus is unknown. It's thought to be related to the immune system, or an abnormal response of the immune system to certain medicines.
If you have lichen planus of the skin, your GP will examine the affected area and may be able to make a diagnosis based on the characteristic rash.
There's no cure for lichen planus, so treatments aim to ease the symptoms and clear the rash. Mild lichen planus doesn't require treatment.
Complications of lichen planus may include discoloured skin and, in some cases, erosive lichen planus may develop into certain types of cancer.
Dale Hodgson was diagnosed with oral lichen planus when she was 44, and has learnt to adapt her lifestyle in order to cope.
Bridget Nelson was diagnosed with a painful, erosive form of lichen planus that affected her mouth and vulva.