Lichen planus

This is one cause of white patch in the mouth

How does it present? It usually presents as a striated white patch on the cheek. Picked up by a doctor/dentist during routine examination. Sometimes, it may cause sour white/red patches. This condition can also affect skin and therefore present as a skin lesion with lesions in the mouth

How is it caused? Mostly unknown. It is thought to be an autoimmune condition.  Symptoms get worse with some ingredients in the diet or during stress.

Should I be concerned? Most of the patients with this condition are asymptomatic . In the literature there are reports that some LP can turn in oral cancer. (0.7-1.2%). This usually occurs in erosive lichen planus(red, angry looking).

How is it treated? Usually treated with local steroid medication (tablets/cream). The tablets are allowed to dissolve over the lesion. In intractable lesions, systemic treatment will be given. i.e oral steroids.  If this does not work, then referral to Oral Medicine department in the teaching hospital will be advised.

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