Lichen Planus

Katharina Boch*, Ewan A. Langan, Khalaf Kridin, Detlef Zillikens, Ralf J. Ludwig, Katja Bieber

*Corresponding author for this work
4 Citations (Scopus)


Lichen planus (LP) is a T cell-mediated disease affecting the stratified squamous epithelia of the skin and/or mucus membrane. Histologically, the disease is characterized by a lichenoid inflammatory infiltrate and vacuolar degeneration of the basal layer of the epidermis. LP has three major subtypes: Cutaneous, mucosal and appendageal LP. Rarely, it may affect the nails in the absence of skin and/or mucosal changes. LP may also be induced by several drugs, typically anti-hypertensive medication or be associated with infections, particularly viral hepatitis. The diagnosis is based on the clinical presentation and characteristic histological findings. Although the disease is often self-limiting, the intractable pruritus and painful mucosal erosions result in significant morbidity. The current first-line treatment are topical and/or systemic corticosteroids. In addition, immunosuppressants may be used as corticosteroid-sparing agents. These, however are often not sufficient to control disease. Janus kinase inhibitors and biologics (anti-IL-12/23, anti-IL17) have emerged as novel future treatment options. Thus, one may expect a dramatic change of the treatment landscape of LP in the near future.

Original languageEnglish
Article number737813
JournalFrontiers in medicine
Publication statusPublished - 01.11.2021

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)
  • Centers: Center for Research on Inflammation of the Skin (CRIS)


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