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Lichen Planus – Types

Lichen planus may occur differently in different individuals. Certain variants respond better to treatment, whereas others tend to be more obstinate. Depending on the presentation of the lesions (and their peculiar locations), described below are some types of lichen planus:

  • hypertrophic lichen planus - (lichen planus verrucosus) - thickened lesions of lichen planus, usually seen on the extremities, especially the shin. It tends to be very itchy in nature;
  • follicular lichen planus -(or lichen planopilaris) - hair follicles get affected, which further leads to scarring. There is hair loss in the affected parts;
  • lichen planus actinicus -(actinic lichen planus) - common in Middle Eastern countries and India in the summers. Exposed areas of the face, dorsum of the hands, arms and nape of the neck develop dark, lesions, with pale borders;
  • lichen planus pigmentosus - another variant common in India, where dark-brown spots develop in sun-exposed areas and folds of the skin, and spread to the upper body;
  • annular lichen planus - commonly involves the male genitalia, but also has a predilection for folds of the skin, such as the axilla and groin folds, marked by small clusters of lesions in a ring form; and
  • linear lichen planus - lesions develop along a straight line, usually on the extremities. They may develop secondary to trauma or itching (the Koebner's phenomenon).

Apart from these, there are other rare types of lichen planus such as bullous, ulcerative and atrophic lichen planus.

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