Lichen planus
A common skin disease with small itchy pink or purple spots on the arms or legs. The lesions (abnormal areas) on the skin in lichen planus are typically polygonal, flat (hence, the term planus), and pruritic (itchy). Occurs characteristically on the wrists, shins, lower back and genitalia. Involvement of the scalp may lead to hair loss. The cause(s) of lichen planus are unknown. However, it can be triggered by the use of certain drugs (thiazide diuretics, phenothiazines, antimalarials). Treatment is with topical corticosteroids. In most cases, the disease spontaneously regresses 6 months to 2 years after onset.

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lichen pla·nus -'plā-nəs n a skin disease characterized by an eruption of wide flat papules covered by a horny glazed film, marked by intense itching, and often accompanied by lesions on the oral mucosa

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an extremely itchy skin disease of unknown cause. Shiny flat-topped mauve spots may occur anywhere but are characteristically found on the inside of the wrists. It may take the form of a white lacy pattern in the mouth, which usually produces no symptoms. Trauma, such as a scratch, may induce a linear form of the disease (see Koebner phenomenon). Treatment with potent topical corticosteroids gives symptomatic relief.

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an inflammatory, pruritic disease of the skin or sometimes oral mucosa, genital mucosa, or nails; it may be acute and widespread or chronic and localized. There are numerous different types, named for the configuration or site of the lesions; most resolve spontaneously, leaving residual hyperpigmentation and atrophy. Characteristics include an eruption of violet, umbilicated, flat-topped, scaly papules and white lines called Wickham striae; lesions may be discrete or may coalesce to form plaques and other shapes. Similar lesions may be caused by drugs or chemical substances. Called also l. ruber planus.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • lichen planus — an extremely itchy skin disease of unknown cause. Shiny flat topped mauve spots may occur anywhere but are characteristically found on the inside of the wrists. It may take the form of a white lacy pattern in the mouth, which usually produces no… …   The new mediacal dictionary

  • lichen planus atrophicus — lichen planus characterized by atrophy in the center of preexisting lesions of lichen planus, ultimately leading to atrophic white spots on the skin that aggregate to form small white or purple patches, sometimes with erythematous borders. Called …   Medical dictionary

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  • lichen planus hypertrophicus — lichen planus characterized by verrucous plaques covered with scales, usually located on the shins but sometimes elsewhere on the body. Called also hypertrophic l. planus and l. planus verrucosus …   Medical dictionary

  • lichen planus actinicus — lichen planus occurring in hot climates or hot weather, especially on sun exposed areas of the skin, characterized by papular lesions that usually have pale centers and darker borders. Called also actinic or subtropical l. planus …   Medical dictionary

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