DESCRIPTIONLichen planus is a chronic skin eruption that is not cancerous or contagious. The skin of the legs, trunk, arms, wrists, scalp, or penis may be involved, as well as the lining of the mouth or vagina or the toenails and fingernails (around or partially under the nailbed). Appropriate health care includes:
Self-care after diagnosis.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMSSmall, slightly raised bumps that itch. The bumps are purplish with a whitish surface.
An irregular whitish line inside the mouth or vagina.
Sudden hair loss in patches on the child's head.
Unknown, but may be caused by a virus. In a few cases, lichen planus may be an adverse reaction to certain drugs.
Fatigue or overwork.
PREVENTING COMPLICATIONS OR RECURRENCECannot be prevented at present.
Your own observation of symptoms.
Medical history and physical exam by a doctor.
Biopsy of questionable papules (raised bumps).
POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONSNone expected.
Symptoms can be controlled with treatment, but the disorder lasts months or years. Urge your child to be patient and persist with the treatment, even if results are disappointing or slow.
HOME CAREUse cool-water soaks to relieve itching.
MEDICATIONYour doctor may prescribe:
--Antihistamines for their sedative effect to control itching.
--Cortisone creams or ointments to reduce inflammation and decrease itching. Your child should use these only once or twice a day unless directed otherwise. Immediately after bathing is the best time to apply for better spreading and penetration. For the face and groin, your child should use only low-potency steroid products without fluorine.
--Cortisone tablets for severe cases.
See Medications section for information regarding medicines your doctor may prescribe.
DIET & FLUIDS
No special diet.
OK TO GO TO SCHOOL?When appetite returns and alertness, strength, and feeling of well-being will allow.
CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF
Your child has symptoms of lichen planus.
New, unexplained symptoms develop. Drugs used in treatment may produce side effects.