Lichen Planus is a chronic, inflammatory, autoimmune disease that affects the skin, mucous membranes, scalp and nails. Lichen planus lesions typically appear as raised, flat-topped papules or plaques that are purple in color; however, they could also appear as painful sores and/or white patches. Lesions occur with rapid onset and commonly affect the bend of the wrists, forearms and legs. Symptoms associated with lichen planus may include discomfort, itch and embarrassment. These symptoms may have a negative impact on a person’s overall quality of life.
Lichen planus occurs when one’s immune system has an abnormal reaction to their own skin cells or mucous membranes. It is not clear why this abnormal reaction happens, but it may be triggered by a virus, certain chemicals and/or medications. While anyone can develop lichen planus, it is most often seen in middle-aged adults.
Since many people have mild cases without bothersome symptoms, treatment for lichen planus may not be necessary. For others, treatment may be required due to itching and/or discomfort. Treatment for lichen planus can include steroids, oral medications, retinoids, and/or narrowband UVB phototherapy, also known as light therapy.
Array Skin Therapy offers narrowband UVB light therapy to help lessen or alleviate bothersome skin symptoms associated with lichen planus. Light therapy can reduce inflammation, resulting in a more even skin tone. Light therapy treatment for lichen planus can also decrease the associated discomfort and itch, leading to an improved quality of life.
Light therapy treatment for lichen planus is required two or three times each week and may be necessary to continue for several months, depending on the individual’s desired result. Patients usually notice some improvement in their symptoms by 10-15 treatments, with more significant improvement noted around 30 treatments. When patients are satisfied with their level of improvement, we encourage them to take a break from light therapy and monitor their skin closely. If you are interested in light therapy for the treatment of lichen planus, call us to schedule a consultation with one of our nurse practitioners.