OverviewThe cause of lichen planus is unknown. It appears as raised, many-sided purple bumps (violaceous polygonal papules) with overlying white lines (Wickham's striae). It commonly involves the wrists (flexor surface), lower back (lumbar region), shins, and ankles. The lesions often itch. Females are more frequently affected than males and the age range is approximately 30 to 60 years of age. This is a less common variant, shown here with scales.
Review Date 10/24/2016
Updated by: David L. Swanson, MD, Vice Chair of Medical Dermatology, Associate Professor of Dermatology, Mayo Medical School, Scottsdale, AZ. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.