It is an inflammatory condition that can affect skin and mucous membranes. On the skin, lichen planus usually appears as purplish, often itchy, flat-topped bumps. On mouth, vagina and other areas covered by a mucous membrane, lichen planus forms lacy white patches, sometimes with painful sores. Lichen planus occurs when immune system mistakenly attacks skin cells or mucous membranes. The reason for this abnormal immune response is unknown. You can't catch lichen planus or give it to another person. Most people can manage typical, mild cases of lichen planus at home, without prescribed medical treatment. If the condition causes pain or significant itching, one may need medication to suppress immune system. The symptoms of lichen planus vary depending on the areas affected. Typical signs and symptoms include purplish, flat-topped bumps, most often on the inner forearm, wrist or ankle, but sometimes on the external genitals.
To undertake a retrospective inspection of the general features, clinical presentation and outcome of 808 Italian patients with oral lichen planus (OLP), followed up from 6 months to 17 years. The mean age was 61 years for women (n = 493) and 58 years for men (n = 315). More than 20% of the total cases had liver abnormalities (n = 164) of which 83.5% infected with hepatitis C virus (n = 137). The reticular and plaque form were the predominant type, affecting almost 60% of patients. 12.3% of patients had also extraoral manifestation, taking into account the skin (n = 63) and genital (n = 24). Symptoms were present in 40% of the total patients. Only less than 2.47% of patients underwent remission, whereas 78% still had oral lesions at the end of the follow-up period.