What Are the Best Treatments for Lichen Planus?


Quick Answer

Lichen planus is best treated with corticosteroids, retinoids, antihistamines and light therapy, according to Mayo Clinic. The condition may also be treated by removing triggers such as drugs or allergens.

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Full Answer

Corticosteroids are used to reduce the inflammation that is associated with lichen planus, claims Mayo Clinic. They can either be applied to the skin, taken orally or administered by an injection. Retinoids, synthetic vitamin A, may also be used to treat lichen planus, and they can be taken orally or applied topically. Though retinoids may be effective in the treatment of this condition, they can irritate the skin and cause redness, drying and peeling.

Nonsteroidal cream and ointment is also used in the treatment of lichen planus, explains Mayo Clinic. These treatments are best when the condition affects the mucous membranes. Antihistamines may also be an option for those dealing with lichen planus. These may be given as an oral or topical treatment. It is also possible that light therapy is used in the treatment of lichen planus, especially when on the skin.

The most common type of light therapy is the type that uses ultraviolet B light, states Mayo Clinic. This light penetrates the top layer of skin only. There is a possibility of burning the skin with this treatment, similar to a sunburn.

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