Thursday, 11 November 2010

MRCP revision battle 46.7: Lichen Planus

Lichen planus is an intensely itchy rash characterised by purple papules with flat tops, often with white lines on the surface (=Wickham's striae).

The picture below (taken by Dr Tag-El -Din Anbar) illustrates lichen planus on an arm:

Mucus membranes may also be affected.

Management may be symptomatic, or with steroid creams.

Half of cases have resolved within 6 to 9 months and the majority of the rest will be gone within 18 months.

A lichenoid-like rash can also be caused by some medications, including:
  • thiazide diuretics
  • antimalarials
  • betablockers
  • gold injections
  • mercury fillings