What is Lichen Planus Pigmentosus?

Lichen Planus Pigmentosus is a grayish-black pigmentation commonly seen on sun exposed areas like the face, neck, chest and arms. It is also found in places where two areas of the skin touch or rub together (like armpits and groin). The pigmentation may develop slowly or have a sudden onset.

What causes Lichen Planus Pigmentosus?

It is caused due to a hypersensitive reaction to unknown antigen leading to excessive production of melanin. Viral infections, UV light, certain hair dyes (even those which are henna based) and application of mustard or amla oils on the hair or skin are some of the known triggers.

How is Lichen Planus Pigmentosus diagnosed?

Lichen Planus Pigmentosus is diagnosed on the basis of its characteristic signs and symptoms. However in atypical cases a skin biopsy may be advised.

How is Lichen Planus Pigmentosus treated?

It is a chronic relapsing condition with periods of exacerbations (worsening of symptoms) separated by periods of remission (disappearance of symptoms). The condition if left untreated can run a long and progressive course. Therefore early diagnosis and damage control is the best solution. The treatment protocol is usually customized depending upon the extent of the disease and the response to previous treatments.