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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 5-10

Lichen planus pigmentosus: A short review


1 Department of Dermatology and STD, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry, India
2 Department of Pathology, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Devinder Mohan Thappa
Department of Dermatology and STD, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry - 605 006
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2349-5847.184265

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Lichen planus pigmentosus (LPP) is a condition characterized by persistent and asymptomatic slaty-gray pigmentation, predominantly in the face. Classically, the pattern is “actinic” with symmetric and diffuse pigmentation in sun-exposed areas, commonly in dark-skinned individuals. It can also rarely present as macular pigmentation of the flexures in the lighter-skinned. LPP is a disease of the middle-aged, with onset in the third to fourth decades of life and few studies show as slightly greater incidence in females. The photo-distributed or actinic pattern, which is more common, is a disease of tropics and Type IV–Type V skin types. Reports are mainly from India, the Middle East, and South America. The inversus type is relatively rare, predominantly occurring in Caucasians. LPP is thought to be a type hypersensitivity IV reaction to unknown antigen with lichenoid inflammation, leading to melanin incontinence and superficial dermal pigmentation. The natural course of the disease is not clear with some cases showing spontaneous resolution, and some cases with persistence of pigmentation for years. In addition, LPP may have marked overlap clinically and histologically with conditions such as pigmented contact dermatitis, differentiation of which may not be possible in routine practice. Because of these issues, as well as the relative rarity of the condition, there is not much evidence on the efficacy of the various treatment options. Currently, none of the available treatment options show consistent responses or a clear superiority to other modalities, the evidence on efficacy being restricted to a few case series.


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