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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Lichen planus pigmentosus

Other Names for this Disease
  • Lichen planus pigmentosa
  • Lichen planus pigmentosus inversus
  • LP pigmentosa
  • LP pigmentosus
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What is lichen planus pigmentosus?

How might lichen planus pimentosus be treated?

What is lichen planus pigmentosus?

Lichen planus (LP) pigmentosus is a rare variant of lichen planus and is characterized by the presence of hyperpigmented, dark-brown macules in sun-exposed or skin-fold areas of the body. LP pigmentosus is a rare disease in Europe but it is common in Indian populations and in the Middle East. The disease usually appears in the third and fourth decade of life. The lesions usually do not cause symptoms. The exact cause of LP pigmentosus is unknown but various factors (e.g. viral infections and certain topical agents including mustard oil, amla oil and henna hair dyes) can trigger the disease. Lichen planus pigmentosus seems to follow a chronic and progressive course.[1]
Last updated: 2/29/2012

How might lichen planus pimentosus be treated?

There is currently no treatment proven effective for lichen planus pigmentosus (LPP).[2] Vitamin A therapy reportedly has been successful in some affected individuals.[3] Authors of a study published in 2010 reported that they noted positive treatment results in some affected individuals who used topical tacrolimus ointment. They reported that they found significant clearance of the condition after 8 weeks of treatment in 7 of 13 affected individuals. They believe that tacrolimus might have some role in the treatment of LPP, but it needs to be studied further on more individuals from different parts of the world.[2]
Last updated: 2/29/2012

  1. Arnold S. & Cooper S. Lichen planus pigmentosus. Orphanet. May 2011; Accessed 8/10/2011.
  2. Al-Mutairi N, El-Khalawany M.. Clinicopathological characteristics of lichen planus pigmentosus and its response to tacrolimus ointment: an open label, non-randomized, prospective study. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. May 2010; 24(5):535-540.
  3. KH Mohan. Acquired macular hyperpigmentation an overview. Journal of Pakistan Association of Dermatologists. 2011; 21:43-54.