The 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: 4/14/2013 Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.