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Lichen Planopilaris

What is Lichen Planopilaris?

This is an inflammatory condition that is rare and can result in having progressive patchy hair loss that occurs most of the time on your scalp that is permanent but can also affect other parts of your body that is hairy. Although it is a rare medical condition it is also one of the most common causes of scarring hair loss of your scalp.

Lichen Planopilaris Types

There are three forms of lichen planopilaris that are recognized which are:

Frontal fibrosing alopecia

This is scarring and hair loss in the frontal region of your scalp and usually affect post-menopausal women over the age of fifty.

Graham Little syndrome

This is a rare variant of lichen planopilaris and is an inflammatory form of scarring hair loss. It usually affects women in the age range of thirty to seventy with it particularly affecting the post-menopausal middle-age group.

Follicular lichen planus

This is the another name for the classic lichen planopilaris.

It is a medical condition that usually will affect women of all ages and it can also affect men. Many times with a person having lichen planopilaris it will be in connection with lichen planus that affects the nails, skin, and mucosa.

When a person has lichen planopilaris it will usually present itself as smooth areas hair loss from your scalp that is white. In the spots where you have the hair loss you cannot see any hair follicle openings. At the outside on the edges of the spots there could be redness and scales around each of your hair follicle. The hairs in these areas can be pulled out easily and it is also multifocal. The small patches where hair loss has occurred can come together to make bigger shapes that are irregular. The sites where hair loss is commonly found are usually on the front, lower back, and sides of your scalp and usually progress slowly.

Lichen Planopilaris Symptoms

There may be no symptoms at all but if there are they can include:

  • Itchiness
  • Pain
  • Discomfort
  • Tenderness
  • Burning

Lichen Planopilaris Causes

The reason that a person gets lichen planopilaris is not known but it is thought it could be the result of an allergic reaction to certain things like penicillin, gold, anti-malarial agents and more. The reason that some think these could be the cause of lichen planopilaris is that this inflammatory condition appears after some period of time which could be weeks or years after being exposed to these various things. Some even think that it has some hereditary or genetic characteristics which mean if you are related to someone who has had it there is a chance you will get it.


If you are visiting your dermatologist or physician because you are noticing hair loss that is permanent and is causing any of the above symptoms they will carefully examine your skin, nails, and mouth for lichen planus evidence. An accurate diagnosis can be confirmed by having a biopsy from your scalp done which includes collecting hairs with scale and redness surrounding the sample at the bottom or top edge of the hair loss area. If the biopsy is taken from an already scarred area of hair loss it will not help make an accurate diagnosis. They may not even be able to make an accurate diagnosis is the biopsy is taken from an area where there is no evidence of inflammation and there is just scarring hair loss that is patchy.

Lichen Planopilaris Treatment

You should seek treatment immediately after getting an accurate diagnosis for lichen planopilaris because there is no treatment that will be able to recover the hairs that are already gone and scarring has taken the hairs place. The reason that you should treat this medical condition is to make sure the progression has been slowed and to help to relieve any symptoms that you might be experiencing. You may still notice continual hair loss but at a rate that is slower.

Some of the treatments that used include:

Potent corticosteroids

Topical which are effective anti-inflammatory preparations and applied directly to the skin, intralesional which is a steroid injection that is injected immediately below your skin, or oral which are synthetic derivatives of the natural steroids and taken by mouth.

Topical tacrolimus

It has immunosuppressant activity and is given by injection or orally. It works directly on skin cells and your immune system


This is an oral antibiotic used to treat skin diseases


This is an oral retinoid which is a vitamin A derivative that is taken after eating.


This is an anti-malarial medication and occasionally used in inflammatory skin conditions

Mycophenolate mofetil

It is the salt form of mycophenolic acid which is an immunosuppressive medication. It works by inhibiting antibody production.


This is a medication that is used to treat ringworm and stops fungal cells from dividing.


This is a strong immunosuppressant medication.

There have even been some cases where lichen planopilaris has cleared up on its own but most of the time it does need to be treated. For the moderate itching you can take over-the-counter antihistamines for relief.

Lichen Planopilaris Pictures

Collection of Pics, Images and Pictures of Lichen Planopilaris…

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Natural Treatment

To treat lichen planopilaris you can use anti-inflammatory herbs that can inhibit your immune response that can trigger inflammation. You can also take over-the-counter analgesics to help reduce the pain. You can also use oats in your bath to help relieve the itchiness or make a paste of it and apply it to the itchy spots. Valerian is considered a calming herb so you can take it to help prevent and relieve the symptoms if there are any. There is no natural treatment that will cure or prevent permanent hair loss scarring from lichen planopilaris

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