Lichen Planus Nail Involvement

Lichen planus is an inflammatory disease commonly affecting the skin and/or the mouth, as well as the genital area and in some cases the nails. The cause of this condition is unknown. Lichen planus occurs most often in middle age affecting men and women equally. 

Nail changes associated with lichen planus include ridges or groove on the nails, splitting or thinning nails. When lichen planus appears on the nail, it may destroy the nail matrix, the formative cellular layer at the base of the nail, leading to temporary or permanent loss of the nail.  Your dermatologist may prescribe corticosteroids or a cortisone shot at the base of the nail to reduce inflammation and potential damage to the nail matrix. There is no known cure for lichen planus in the nails and it may clear up on its own. However, treatment may provide relief from any itching and help reduce the risk of permanent nail damage.