What is Lichen Planus?

Lichen Planus (LP) is a common immune mediated mucocutaneous disease affecting oral and/or cutaneous surfaces of 0.1 to 4 % of total population. LP has a potential of transforming into a malignancy with a reported incidence of  0.4 to 1.5% malignant transformation to squamous cell carcinoma, hence it is considered by World Health Organisation as "potentially malignant lesion" (one which can to transform into cancer).


  • Exact cause unknown.
  • Literature suggests inflammatory immune related causes.
  • Exacerbation of this disease is precipitated by stress, foods, dental procedures, systemic illness, poor oral hygiene etc.


  • Predominantly seen affecting females than males. occurrence in children is rare 
  • Age group: 30-70 years
  • Appears usually as white slight raised plaques or papule with interlacing white lines on an erythematous background. Can also appear atrophic with areas of ulceration, redness and white striae
  • Usually occurs bilaterally
  • Commonly seen on cheek mucosa followed by gingiva, tongue and vestibule
  • Symptoms: mild to severe burning sensation usually on having spicy food, pain, interference while speaking, chewing or swallowing 

What is the TREATMENT?

  • Proper diagnosis
  • Elimination of causative factor
  • Pharmacological management
  • Surgical management
  • Periodic follow up a must