Tests and diagnosis

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Your doctor or dermatologist will perform a physical examination to diagnose lichen planus. To confirm the diagnosis, you may need these tests:

  • Biopsy. During a punch biopsy test, your doctor removes a small section of your skin, which is then examined under a microscope for cell patterns characteristic of lichen planus. You'll receive local anesthetic to numb the site and likely require stitches to close the wound.
  • Hepatitis C test. A nurse or assistant may draw a small sample of blood for a lab test to determine if you have hepatitis C, a possible trigger for lichen planus.
  • Allergy tests. Your doctor may refer you to an allergy specialist (allergist) to determine whether substances you regularly have contact with may be causing you to have allergic reactions that act as triggers for your condition.
Feb. 22, 2013