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Lichen Planus

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Lichen planus is an inflammatory skin condition that can affect the surface of the skin and mucous membranes. When it affects the skin, lichen planus appears as purplish, often itchy, flat-topped bumps. When the mucous membranes are infected with the condition, lichen planus appears as lacy white patches or painful sores. 

Symptoms of Lichen Planus


  • Purplish, flat-topped bumps may appear anywhere on the body, but they are most often located on the inner forearm and near the wrists or ankles. Other common locations include the lower back, neck and legs.
  • Bumps may appear in lines along creases in the skin, in clusters, or along the site of a scratch or other injury.
  • Bumps may appear to be covered with fine, lacy white lines.
  • When lesions eventually disappear, the skin may have a dark brownish discoloration that may eventually fade away.


  • Patches of lacy white lines or white dots appear most often on the inside of cheeks. The gums, lips and tongue also may be affected.
  • Sores or ulcers may also appear in the mouth. These tend to cause pain or a burning sensation.


  • Men: The purplish skin lesions and itching most often affect the tip of the penis (glans).
  • Women: Lichen planus can cause purplish skin lesions and itching on the external genitalia (vulva) or painful, burning sores on the mucous membrane lining the vagina. Scarring is possible, but uncommon, after the skin and mucous membranes heal.


  • Temporary or permanent hair loss
  • Scarring or discoloration of the scalp after it has healed


  • Ridges running the length of the nail
  • Thinning or splitting of the nail
  • Temporary or permanent nail loss

Treatments for Lichen Planus

  • Corticosteroids
  • Retinoids
  • Phototherapy
  • Oral Medications

If you feel your child is experiencing any of these symptoms, please contact Florida Center for Pediatric Dermatology at 407.303.1687 or through our online contact form.