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Lichen planus: Tips for managing

You may be able to stop lichen planus from getting worse by doing the following:


  • Limit stress. Stress can make lichen planus worse.

  • Try not to scratch. Covering the rash with a bandage can help.

  • Calm the itch. Applying a cool cloth or using an oatmeal bath treatment can help. You can buy an oatmeal bath treatment at a drugstore.

  • Try not to injure your skin. A skin injury can cause an outbreak where the skin was injured.


If you have lichen planus in your mouth, you may have a higher risk of getting cancer in your mouth (oral cancer). Here are some things you can do to reduce that risk:

  • Stop smoking, chewing tobacco, and drinking alcohol.

  • Get a screening for oral cancer every 6 to 12 months from your dentist or dermatologist.

  • Brush twice a day.

  • Floss daily.

  • Visit your dentist twice a year for a checkup and cleaning.

  • Stop consuming foods and beverages that can worsen lichen planus in the mouth. The culprits are spicy foods, citrus fruits and juices (such as oranges and grapefruits), tomatoes and foods made with tomatoes (such as salsa, pasta sauces, and ketchup), snacks that are crispy and salty (such as corn chips), drinks that contain caffeine (such as coffee, tea, and cola).

Scalp and nails

If you have hair loss or nail problems, you should see a dermatologist. Without treatment, these may not regrow.


If you have red areas or open sores, you need treatment. Dermatologists treat lichen planus on the genitals.