Do you suffer from recurrent skin rashes? If they are characterized by purple, reddish bumps, they could be caused by an uncommon inflammatory disease of the skin, lichen planus, which is mainly caused by an abnormal immune reaction, provoked by drug or viral infection.
Lichen planus is a curious skin condition which tends to zone in on small areas, rather than mucous membranes and wider areas.
It has been estimated that almost 85% of lichen planus cases disappear 18 months after their occurrence. So, there is no need to worry.
However, if it affects your mouth or genital parts, it may persist longer than usual and cause great discomfort. Here are some essential facts to consider when diagnosing lichen planus.
Don’t confuse lichen planus with other common rashes
Rashes on the skin are common for many types of skin inflammation like eczema and allergies, so there is a chance of confusing them with lichen planus. These clues will help you to identify this specific skin condition absolutely:
- The major differentiation between lichen planus and other skin conditions is its color. If you notice any rashes that are lilac or violet in color, it is almost definitely lichen planus.
- Lichen planus itches with an intensity which varies from one individual to another.
- The onset of the symptoms can be sudden or gradual. Initially the bumps are 2 to 4mm in diameter with angular borders. With the onset of the disease, new bumps may appear at the site of minor skin injury, which looks like a superficial scratch.
Self-help measures at home
Usually, lichen planus disappears without any treatment, but it can take as long as two years. If you only have mild symptoms, you may require only a few self-care measures. Periodic observation by a skin specialist can help.
If you have severe symptoms, your doctor will prescribe ointments or creams to reduce the infection. Follow these self-help tips to reduce the intensity of the inflammation: tub soaks with colloidal oatmeal can provide significant relief from mild symptoms.
If you are concerned about severe itching, try to apply a cold compress to the bumps. A cold compress usually shows a marked improvement.