Lichen Planus Pemphigoides

by Sam Malone

Lichen planus pemphigoides is a rare form of lichen planus, in which blisters develop on lichen planus lesions. To know more about this disorder, let us look at what the main disease lichen planus is all about. Lichen planus is an inflammatory disease that attacks the mouth, skin and/or genitals. The causes of lichen planus are not known but it is believed to be an autoimmune disease. The white blood cells that are normally supposed to fight off germs start to attack skin, nails, hair and mucous membranes. Sometimes lichen planus occurs as a reaction to certain medication for arthritis, heart diseases and blood pressure. Once the drug that causes the rash is identified, treating the condition becomes easier. Apart from this, lichen planus is also known to be associated sometimes with hepatitis C infection, primary biliary cirrhosis hepatitis and chronic active hepatitis. It appears in mostly people over 45 years of age.

This particular condition is characterized by purplish reddish flat bumps that may sometimes be itchy and/or white lacy appearance, mainly occurring on the insides of the wrists and ankles. It can however also be seen on the genitals, neck, legs, lower back and rarely in nails and scalp. Lichen planus can also be of the oral kind, where it manifests itself in the form of sores and ulcers that affect the insides of the cheek, the tongue, the insides of the lips and the gums. Some forms of lichen planus may also be accompanied by blisters. There is no known cure for this disorder except that there are treatments to relieve the pain of sores or the itching sensation, depending on where the disease is.

Lichen planus pemphigoides is one of the forms of lichen planus. Since there is no specific cure or treatment for this condition, medication can help counter the inflammatory conditions. Sometimes skin lichen may resolve itself spontaneously within a year. It would also be helpful to understand what may be causing the condition, for example medication, alcohol, smoking etc. If either of these are the causes, it should be stopped immediately. Topical steroid may be advised for symptomatic treatment of itching. Aloe vera can also be used topically on the affected areas for relief from the inflammatory symptoms. Moisturizers can help alleviate the rashes on the skin. It is important that only the reddish-purple lesions be treated with topical steroids and not the post-inflammatory pigmentation.



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