Lichen Plano-Pilaris

Lichen Planopilaris

Lichen planopilaris (LPP) is a common chronic condition that affects the scalp, in which hair loss and scaly patches develop around hair follicles. It is considered to be a scarring alopecia, meaning that the inflammation that causes the condition eventually leads to permanent hair loss. The exact cause of LPP is still unknown. However, it is thought to be an autoimmune condition, in which the body’s own immune system mistakenly attacks its hair follicles.

It is most commonly seen in middle-aged women; however, other age and gender groups are also affected. The most common symptom of LPP is patchy hair loss in a distinctive pattern. This can appear as small scaly patches on the scalp, with hair breakage around the hair follicles. Other symptoms include itching, burning, pain, and even swelling of the scalp. LPP is often difficult to diagnose, as its symptoms can be similar to other conditions that cause hair loss.

Treatment of Lichen Planopilaris

Treatment for LPP is typically a combination of prescription medications and lifestyle changes. The most common medications used are corticosteroids, to reduce inflammation, and antimalarial drugs, to reduce itching. Other medications, such as calcineurin inhibitors or topical immunomodulators, may also be prescribed.

Lifestyle changes such as avoiding exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light, maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding smoking can also help reduce symptoms. Sunscreens with an SPF of 30 or higher should be applied daily, and hats or scarves should be worn to protect the scalp from the sun. Additionally, scalp massage can help reduce symptoms and improve hair growth.

Home Remedies

Although there is no cure for LPP, there are some home remedies that can help reduce the symptoms and promote hair growth. These include the following:

  • Eating a healthy diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and omega fatty acids.
  • Applying coconut oil or olive oil to the affected areas of the scalp to reduce itching.
  • Gently brushing or massaging the scalp with a soft-bristled brush.
  • Using gentle shampoos and sulfate-free cleansers.
  • Limiting the use of harmful hairstyling products that can irritate the scalp.
  • Avoiding contact with harsh chemicals and pollution.

It is important to consult with your doctor before trying any home remedies or over-the-counter treatments for LPP, as they can cause serious side effects or make the condition worse.