Lichen planopilaris: report of 30 cases and review of the literature

C Chieregato, A Zini, A Barba, M Magnanini, P Rosina
International Journal of Dermatology 2003, 42 (5): 342-5

BACKGROUND: Lichen planopilaris (LPP) affects primarily the scalp, resulting in scaling, atrophy, and alopecia with scarring. The purpose of our study was to obtain original data on LPP and to evaluate the efficacy of topical therapy in comparison with systemic therapies.

METHODS: We examined 30 patients affected by LPP between 1996 and 2001, performing clinical, laboratory, histopathologic and direct immunofluorescence examinations. Twenty-one of the patients (70%) were women and nine (30%) were men. The average age at presentation was 51.5 years. The average duration of the disease was 13 months at the time of the diagnosis. All patients received topical steroids for a total of 12 weeks.

RESULTS: Resolution of the inflammatory process and blocking of the cicatricial progression were observed in 66% of cases, a mild reduction of fibrosis and cicatrization in 20% of patients, and no response in 13%.

CONCLUSIONS: We concluded that topical therapy may be a valid alternative to systemic therapies, especially in patients with lesions in the early phase.

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