Lichen planus image
Previous Next 7 of 12 Lichen planus

Lichen planus (LIE-kun PLAY-nus) is an inflammatory condition that can affect your skin and mucous membranes. On the skin it usually appears as purplish, often itchy, flat-topped bumps (lesions). In your mouth, vagina and other areas covered by a mucous membrane, lichen planus forms lacy white patches.

The condition may develop gradually over a couple of months. After that, it rarely worsens, but it may persist for months or years. You can usually control mild lichen planus symptoms on the skin, such as stinging and itching, by applying cool compresses or aloe vera gel. More-severe symptoms may require drug treatment. Lesions on mucous membranes tend to take longer to heal and often recur.

Get the latest health advice from Mayo Clinic delivered to your inbox.

Sign up for free, and stay up-to-date on research advancements, health tips and current health topics, like COVID-19, plus expert advice on managing your health.

To provide you with the most relevant and helpful information and to understand which information is beneficial, we may combine your e-mail and website usage information with other information we have about you. If you are a Mayo Clinic Patient, this could include Protected Health Information (PHI). If we combine this information with your PHI, we will treat all of that information as PHI, and will only use or disclose that information as set forth in our notice of privacy practices. You may opt-out of e-mail communications at any time by clicking on the Unsubscribe link in the e-mail.

Sept. 28, 2019