Our Health Library information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist our patients to learn more about their health. Our providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Lichen planus

Lichen planus is an uncommon, recurrent skin condition that causes itchy, shiny reddish purple spots on the skin; gray-white spots in the mouth; glassy bright red spots on the vulva (the area around the vagina); and small patchy areas of hair loss (scarring alopecia).

The symptoms of lichen planus may begin abruptly or gradually. The initial occurrence may persist for weeks or months, and recurrences can continue over many years.

Lichen planus is not contagious. Although its exact cause is not known, it appears more often during stress, fatigue, or exposure to medicines or chemicals. It affects women more often than men.

Treatment of lichen planus focuses on relieving itching, such as with medicated creams. Severe cases may require prescription medicines taken by mouth or light treatment.

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Travel Warnings and Tips for Pregnant Women

If you decide to vacation, visit old friends, or must travel for work, pregnancy shouldn’t stop you from flying or