Lichen planus (LP) is a relatively common non-infectious skin condition that may affect any part of the body. It frequently presents as an itchy rash of shiny, flat-topped papules with a mauvish tinge that may occur on any part of the body but is frequently seen on the front of the wrist, as well as the ankles and lumbar region. Running across the surface of these lesions are white lines known a Wickham's striae. Characteristic is the Koebner phenomenon that is seen as rows of lesions occurring along the lines of trauma or scratching. With time the papules may flatten and become hyperpigmented. It may occur in both sexes, all races and at any ages but is most commonly seen between the ages of 30 and 60. The actual cause is not known but it is immunologically mediated, and some patients will have a family history of LP. They may also or will often suffer related problems such as ulcerative colitis, alopecia areata, vitiligo, dermatomyositis, morphea or lichen sclerosis. LP has also been found to be associated with hepatitis C.
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