What is Lichen Planopilaris (LPP)?
Mainly found on the scalp, Lichen Planopilaris (LPP) is a rare condition where hair loss and scarring develop on various parts of the scalp. A distinctive pattern of inflammation is present when a skin biopsy slide is examined microscopically that makes the condition unique.
What is the cause of Lichen Planopilaris (LPP)?
The cause of Lichen Planopilaris (LPP) is unknown.
What are the symptoms?
Women suffering from LPP usually experience hair loss and thinning with or without distinct bald patches. There can be a burning, itchy, tender feel when affected areas of the scalp are touched; sometimes discomfort can appear months or even years before the hair loss becomes visible. This condition is slow to progress and gradually spreads to involve larger areas of the scalp.
How is it diagnosed?
The doctor, usually a dermatologist, will examine the scalp and usually perform a skin biopsy to make this diagnosis. Some individuals with LPP may also have a skin rash on other parts of the body or inside the mouth so these areas might be examined as well as finger nails. However, many individuals with LPP have scalp involvement only and the skin biopsy is the only way to identify it.
What tests are needed?
A scalp biopsy is the most common way to diagnose LPP. Yet, often this diagnosis can sometimes not be confirmed after a biopsy if the condition is more advanced and only scar tissue remains.
What is the expected duration?
LPP can be active for several months to many years.
How can it be prevented?
At this time there is not a method of the prevention of LPP.
Treatments can vary from oral medications to topical products he most common treatments used are:
- Corticosteroids topically or by localized injections
Recent clinical studies suggest that Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) can help with symptomatic improvement and some hair growth for individuals with LPP, so this is a treatment option as well.
When to contact a professional
Contact a professional for any persistent burning, stinging or scalp irritation with or without hair thinning for diagnosis and treatment.
It can take as little as 2 months, or as much as a year before seeing visible results of treatment. While most individuals improve with treatment, the burning and scalp irritation can be stubborn at times requiring ongoing treatment for years