Lichen Planus of Nails: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Lichen planus can affect nails in about 10 percent of the cases. Nail involvement in LP in isolation is uncommon and has always been associated with typical skin lesions. Rarely nail lichen planus may occur in the absence of skin, oral or genital lesions.

The majority of nail change results from damage to the nail matrix or nail root. Nail changes can occur with or without skin involvement. The nails, when affected, tend to become deformed. Commonly only two or three fingernails or toenails are involved. Occasionally all the nails could be affected.

Signs of Nail Lichen Planus:

Nail changes associated with Lichen Planus includes:

  • Longitudinal ridging and grooving,
  • Pitting, 
  • Nail thinning,
  • The nail becomes fragile and there may be a loss of nails
  • Brown discoloration,
  • Depressions of the nail plate,
  • Inflammation of the proximal nail folds becomes erythematous.
  • The skin of the fingertips shows a honeycomb appearance due to multiple, small, punctuate, and hyperkeratotic depressions.

In severe cases, the nail may be temporarily or permanently destroyed. Lichen planus on the nails causes the nails to become extremely brittle and more prone to cracks and splits.

Toe Nails with Lichen Planus    Lichen Planus on Hands Nails

Fingers with Lichen Planus Infection    Nails Infected with Lichen Planus

   

Symptoms of Nail Lichen Planus:

  • There may be no symptoms at all
  • Itching
  • Stinging sensation
  • Burning and pain in the fingertips

Differential Diagnosis:

Diagnosis:

To confirm the diagnosis biopsy is required. An associated history of lichen planus on the skin may help to make the diagnosis.

Treatment for Nail Lichen Planus:

Lichen Planus on Left Hand Nails    Hand Nails Lichen Planus    Lichen Planus on Toe Nails    Lichen Planus on Finger Nails

Homeopathy medicines are beneficial in the cases of Lichen Planus in the nails. The cracks in the nails heal and the brittleness improves. The discoloration goes away and the nails improve and normalize. (In our experience the Lichen Planus of the skin improves first and the nails improve later.) One can expect excellent improvement with homeopathy. It must be noted that the Lichen planus of nails is more difficult to treat than one on the skin.

before after of lichen planus on nails

 before after of lichen planus on nails before after of lichen planus on nails before after of lichen planus on nails

 

Related Conditions: Onychomycosis or fungus of nails

Case studies of Lichen Planus on Nails

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Lichen Planus Case Studies

A 46-year-old male patient from the USA, Dr. R. P. (PIN: 26560) observed the development of a few skin eruptions, which were itchy and spreading. He visited a skin specialist; the biopsy of the same confirmed that he had Lichen planus. The skin specialist prescribed him a topical steroid.

.....Read more

A 48-year-old male patient, Mr. A.K. (PIN: 41650) visited Life Force and started homeopathic treatment for his complaint of her lichen planus in November 2019. 

He was suffering from a skin condition for 6 months. The lesions of lichen planus were present on his hands, legs, and sh.....Read more

Lichen planus (LP) is an idiopathic, cell-mediated immune disorder. It is a chronic systemic disease that commonly involves oral mucosa and skin lesions.  The clinical manifestations of LP have been described as the 6 Ps of Lichen planus, (Pruritic, purple, polygonal, planar, papules, and pl.....Read more

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