Award winning dermatology service, with over 20 years on experience

Short waiting lists, on some occasions offering same week appointments

Safe environment, in Care Quality Commission approved facilities

Lichen Planus Treatments Include:

Lichen Planus Specialist Advice In Canterbury & Kent

Lichen Planus is an uncomfortable inflammatory skin condition that causes itching, discoloration and thickening of the affected area. Commonly seen on the wrists, ankles and lower back, this chronic condition can also spread to more personal areas such as the mouth, genitalia, nails and scalp. It usually affects adults over the age of 40 and has no hereditary link; men and women are similarly susceptible to developing the condition. Fortunately, despite its unsightly appearance it is not infectious nor contagious and medical treatment can help relieve symptoms associated with Lichen Planus.


Lichen Planus is a chronic skin condition of unknown origin, and despite extensive research, its exact cause remains elusive. It’s believed to be an autoimmune disorder whereby the body’s immune system kicks into overdrive and attacks healthy tissue. While there is no evidence that Lichen Planus is contagious, some studies have suggested links between this condition, certain flu vaccines, hepatitis C infections as well as chemical pigments and metals. Furthermore, medications such as pain relievers or medications prescribed for heart disease, high blood pressure and arthritis have been found to cause rashes similar to Lichen Planus which may subside as soon as the offending medication is discontinued. Thus, further research on these causal factors of Lichen Planus may yield invaluable insights in understanding and ultimately preventing this condition.


There are many different forms of lichen planus which differ in appearance and the parts of the body they affect. Typically, Lichen Planus appears as multiple purple/red shiny, flat-topped bumps that form on the skin in a symmetrical distribution across the body. As the individual bumps heal they change colour from red to purple, then to grey or brown. Sometimes there is scale on the surface of the bumps. Lichen Planus can form in line-shaped (linear) or ringlet-shaped (annular) areas and sometimes appears in scars. Common symptoms you may experience depending on where your condition affects you are:

  • Itching
  • Blisters which then scab over
  • Painful sores in the mouth
  • Purple flat bumps
  • Hair Loss
  • Nail damage


Lichen Planus is a distressing and debilitating skin disorder, however, although currently incurable, treatments can often successfully control most of the symptoms. Topical medications are commonly prescribed and range from over-the-counter creams to corticosteroid tablets for more persistent and severe cases. For those struggling to find relief, phototherapy can be another potential solution; involving a low intensity LED light that targets affected areas with ultraviolet rays for a healing response. Of course, treatments will differ depending on severity and other medical conditions – please speak to your doctor or dermatologist for further advice.


Itching is the key symptom that affects people with Lichen Planus. The appearance of the rash can be distressing for some, especially if it occurs in intimate areas such as the genitalia. Furthermore, as the skin lesions heal, darkly pigmented blemishes may appear in their place which can take months or even years to resolve, particularly in those with a darker skin tone. If Lichen Planus occurs on the scalp it can lead to patchy hair loss which may be permanent. Pitting, ridging or complete detachment of the nails eroded by LP can also look unsightly.

  • Avoid using soaps or body washes and just wash using warm water
  • Wash your hair over a sink or bath so the shampoo doesn’t come into contact with your skin
  • Use an emollient on the rash
  • Avoid wearing tight clothes that rub against the skin
  • If in the mouth, brush your teeth carefully and keep your gums healthy and avoid salty, spicy and acidic foods as well as alcohol

No, lichen planus is not contagious. It occurs when the immune system attacks cells of the skin.

As this condition heals, it often leaves a dark brown discolouration of the skin. These will eventually fade over time.


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Here at Kent’s leading private skin and laser clinic, our experts are specialists in all aspects of dermatology, skin cancer, anti-ageing and beauty treatments. We are one of the few skin clinics in the UK where all medical consultations and treatments are provided by specialist doctors with Dermatology experience and laser training.

Canterbury Skin and Laser Clinic is regulated by the Care Quality Commission, ensuring the best level of treatment is provided to you in a safe environment. Our Clinical Lead Dr Mark Hudson-Peacock is a member of the British Association of Dermatologists, the British Laser Medical Association, the British Hair and Nail Society, the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology and is certified by the Consulting Room. We have won many awards including the WhatClinic Patient Service Award in 2019 and the ghp Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Awards 2019.


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