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What is lichen planus?

Lichen planus is a disease that causes red, purple, or white patches to form on the skin. These patches are often itchy or painful and can affect the skin anywhere on the body, including the mouth, genitals, and nails.

And when we have lichen planus on our nails?

On the nails, lichen planus (called nail lichen planus) can cause lines or ridges to form, which can progress to scarring and complete loss of the nail. Nail lesions appear along with skin lesions and often alone.

How is nail lichen planus diagnosed?

The dermatologist will be able to tell if you have lichen planus by hearing about your symptoms and doing an evaluation. Onycoscopy (assessment of nails with a dermoscope) is indispensable. It is also possible that we need to take a small sample of the nail to send to the laboratory. This is called a "biopsy", and it is necessary to confirm the problem.


Is a biopsy necessary?

When the disease is at an early stage, the characteristics are similar to other very common diseases. Since it is necessary to treat as soon as possible, it is important to make confirmation.

What are the signs on the nails?

Each nail is analyzed individually, and therapy may change depending on the severity of the injuries. We can have some fingers with light signs and others with very severe signs at the same time, and appear as thinning of the nail, grooves, cracks (cracks), worsening until the total loss of these.
Initially, the person only notices a slight thinning, with an increase in the furrows. The signs increase rapidly, and the nails present greater nail fragility, with worsening of the grooves and cracks (cracks), and these cracks can generate pain.

In the most severe cases, the nails disappear or scar forever, which prevents the nails from growing again.

What treatments are available?

It is very important to carry out the treatment as soon as possible, for which the disease has been termed as an “emergency” of nail health. Topical treatment (cream applied to the nails) is usually not effective and is not used as a sole therapy.

How is the treatment normally used?

Depending on the severity of the condition, we decide on the type of medication. Often this involves giving injections directly into the affected area or using intramuscular therapy. They are part of the first line of treatment.

And in the most serious cases?

In severe cases, your dermatologist may prescribe a medication that treats the entire body (pill or injection).  


What can I do on my own?

If you have nail lichen planus, you should carefully follow the treatment schedule provided by your dermatologist. It is essential to treat as soon as possible.

Would you like to schedule an assessment? Click on the button below to schedule by whatsapp (21) 99218-9718.

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