The skin is the most exposed organ to irritants, and when the body recognizes something as foreign, the immune system kicks into action. It produces what is known as antibodies against the foreign bodies (antigens). However, in many situations, the body produces antibodies against its own cells or tissue or components, causing an autoimmune reaction. One such autoimmune reaction is lichen planus, which is a skin rash caused when the body produces antibodies against its own skin or mucous membranes.
Risk factors: While anyone with a weak immune system can develop lichen planus, the followings increase the chances of that happening:
Symptoms: Diagnosis of lichen planus is quite easy, as it has a characteristic appearance.
If required, a biopsy can be done in some cases to confirm the diagnosis. Allergy testing can also be done to confirm hyperactive immune system.
Treatments: This can depend on the severity of the condition. In people where it is not progressive or inflamed, it could be observed to run its natural course and subside.
For those requiring symptomatic treatment, the following can be used:
Lichen planus often does not require any treatment. However, depending on each individual, it may require topical and/or systemic treatment to manage the symptoms. It usually runs its course over 6 to 10 weeks and subsides on its own. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Dermatologist.