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Lichens are symbiotic creatures that are comprised of both fungi and algae. Typically, a lichen is comprised of a fungal filament with green algae living inside of the filament. Cyanobacteria may also reside inside of the fungal filament to complete the lichen.


Lichens grow on all continents and have the ability to survive all altitudes and climates. In general, all lichens require time, undistributed surfaces and clean air to survive and thrive.


While the lichen plant can't cause any diseases, "lichen" is also a term that describes skin diseases such as lichen sclerosus and lichen planus, as Mayo Clinic explains. However, doctors do not know the cause of lichen diseases, but some suspect it relates to the immune system.


Symptoms of diseases related to lichens include itching, skin blotches, blisters, bleeding and ulcers, states Mayo Clinic. Lichen-related diseases generally manifest in skin conditions and rashes.


Lichens may belong to one, two, or all three of the following kingdoms: Fungi, Protista and Monera. Lichens are groups of multiple organisms, which may occur in the forms of fungi, protists and monerans. Although they share the classification of lichens, species vary widely in habitat, appearance an


The specific cause of lichen planus is not completely understood, but the condition may be associated with individuals who are infected with Hepatitis C and who have been exposed to chemicals, explains the American Skin Association. Lichen planus is not contagious and cannot be passed from person to


The cause of lichen planopilaris is unknown, states Mayo Clinic. It may be triggered by hepatitis C infections, the hepatitis B vaccine, the flu vaccine, exposure to certain pigments and chemicals, NSAIDs, and certain heart disease or blood pressure medications. It is commonly known as lichen planus


Although the exact causes of lichen sclerosus are unknown, as of 2015, some possible causes include immune system problems and sex hormone imbalances, according to Mayo Clinic. Genetic predisposition to the development of lichen sclerosus has been suggested as a possible origin of the condition.


Lichen planus is an itchy skin rash that is thought to be an immune reaction to certain triggers, states MayoClinic. Though fairly common, the exact reason why it occurs is unknown. Symptoms include mouth sores, skin sores, dry mouth, hair loss, metallic taste and nail ridges.


The cause of lichen planus is not known, as of 2015, states Mayo Clinic. It is believed to be an auto-immune disease, which means that the immune system of a patient attacks parts of the body as if they are foreign invaders.