Lichen Planopilaris

What Causes This Rare Condition?

Wig Medical provides personal telehealth sessions with a Cranial Prosthesis Specialist to help you manage Lichen Planopilaris and reach your hair goals.

What is Lichen Planopilaris?

Lichen planopilaris (LPP) is a rare inflammatory condition that affects the hair follicles, leading to scarring alopecia and permanent hair loss. 


While the exact cause of LPP remains unclear, understanding its symptoms and treatment options is crucial for individuals diagnosed with this condition. Exploring its potential causes can help individuals suffering with the condition develop management strategies to help navigate this challenging condition. 


Although the effects of LPP can be devastating, there is still hope for patients that have been experiencing symptoms. 

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Most of our clients who need a medical wig or hair prosthetic are covered by insurance.

Causes of Lichen Planopilaris

The exact cause of lichen planopilaris is not fully understood, but it is believed to involve an abnormal immune response that targets the hair follicles. Factors that may contribute to the development of LPP include genetic predisposition, autoimmune factors, and environmental triggers. 


Certain medications, infections, or underlying medical conditions may also play a role in triggering or exacerbating LPP in susceptible individuals.

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Symptoms and Signs

Lichen planopilaris typically presents as progressive hair loss and scarring of the scalp, although the specific symptoms may vary from person to person. Common signs and symptoms of LPP may include:


  • Gradual thinning or bald patches on the scalp, often with a characteristic pattern of hair loss.
  • Redness, scaling, or inflammation of the scalp in affected areas.
    Itching, burning, or tenderness of the scalp, especially during flare-ups.
  • Visible scarring or changes in skin texture, such as rough or shiny patches.

Diagnosis and Evaluation

Diagnosing lichen planopilaris involves a comprehensive evaluation by a dermatologist or healthcare provider specializing in hair disorders. 


This may include a physical examination, review of medical history, and sometimes additional tests such as scalp biopsies or blood tests. 


These are done in order to rule out other potential causes of hair loss and confirm the diagnosis of LPP.

Treatment and Management Strategies

Treatment for lichen planopilaris focuses on managing symptoms, slowing down disease progression, and preserving existing hair follicles whenever possible. Common treatment options for LPP may include:


Topical Corticosteroids: Topical corticosteroid creams or ointments may be prescribed to reduce inflammation and relieve itching associated with lichen planopilaris.


Oral Medications: Oral medications such as corticosteroids, immunosuppressants, or antimalarial drugs may be used to suppress the immune response and slow down disease progression in individuals with LPP.

Lichen Planopilaris FAQs

Lichen Planopilaris is a form of lichen planus that affects the scalp, leading to scarring hair loss (cicatricial alopecia). 


It's characterized by inflammation around the upper part of the hair follicle where the stem cells and sebaceous (oil) glands are located. 


This inflammation destroys the follicle, leads to scarring, and permanently prevents hair from growing back.

The exact cause of LPP remains unknown, but it's believed to be an autoimmune disorder. 


In LPP, the body's immune system mistakenly attacks the hair follicles, leading to inflammation and subsequent hair loss. 


While the trigger for this autoimmune response is not fully understood, genetic predisposition and environmental factors may play a role.

Symptoms of LPP include scalp tenderness, redness, scaling, and itching. 


As the condition progresses, it leads to permanent hair loss in the affected areas, forming patches of smooth, scarred scalp. Some patients may also experience burning or pain in the affected areas. 


The hair loss is typically gradual but can be more rapid in some cases.

Diagnosis of LPP involves a careful examination of the scalp and a review of the patient's medical history. 


Dermatologists may perform a scalp biopsy, where a small piece of scalp skin is removed and examined under a microscope, to confirm the presence of lichen planopilaris. 


This procedure helps distinguish LPP from other forms of scarring alopecia.

 While there is no cure for LPP, treatment aims to manage symptoms and halt the progression of hair loss. 


Options include topical corticosteroids to reduce inflammation, oral medications that suppress the immune system (like hydroxychloroquine or mycophenolate mofetil), and, in some cases, medications to address any underlying infection. 


Advanced cases might benefit from hair transplantation to restore hair in scarred areas, although this is typically considered only after the disease has been inactive for some time.

Intralesional Steroid Injections: Injecting corticosteroids directly into affected areas of the scalp can help reduce inflammation and promote hair regrowth in some individuals with lichen planopilaris.


Topical Immunotherapy: Topical immunotherapy using agents such as diphencyprone (DPCP) or squaric acid dibutyl ester (SADBE) may be recommended for individuals with refractory or severe cases of LPP to modulate the immune response and promote hair regrowth.

Comprehensive Cranial Prosthetic Services at Wig Medical

Empower yourself with personalized care and expertise tailored to your unique needs at Wig Medical. Our team is dedicated to guiding you through the process of finding the perfect cranial prosthetic solution, ensuring comfort, confidence, and peace of mind. 


Whether you're navigating insurance coverage or seeking specialized assistance, we're here to support you every step of the way. Take the first step towards reclaiming your self-esteem and schedule an appointment with us today.


Contact our professional team at Wig Medical today! 

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Let us help you with your Lichen Planopilaris challenges.

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