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Lichen planus

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Introduction
Lichen planus is a non-infectious, itchy rash that can affect many areas of the body. The exact cause of lichen planus is unknown and it cannot be cured.
Symptoms of lichen planus
The symptoms of lichen planus vary depending on which area of the body is affected. Affected areas of the body include the skin, the mouth, the penis and vulva.
Causes of lichen planus
The cause of lichen planus is unknown. It is thought that the condition may be related to the immune system or a reaction to certain types of medication.
Diagnosing lichen planus
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.
Treating lichen planus
There is no cure for lichen planus. Treatments aim to ease symptoms and clear the characteristic rash. Mild cases of lichen planus will not require treatment.
Complications of lichen planus
Complications of lichen planus may include discoloured skin and a risk that, in some cases, erosive lichen planus may develop into cancer.
‘I try to keep my stress levels down’
Dale Hodgson was diagnosed with oral lichen planus when she was 44, and has learnt to adapt her lifestyle in order to cope. She tells her story.
'I was in so much pain I had to give up my job'
At 42, Bridget Nelson was diagnosed with a painful, erosive form of lichen planus that affected her vulva and mouth. Today she is relatively pain-free and