DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Lichen planus. Close-up of a skin rash consisting of multiple, raised, dark purple spots with pink edges. The skin over these lesions is shiny and flaky. This is the typical appearance of lichen planus, a skin condition of unknown cause which mainly affects middle aged people. The lesions are extremely itchy appearing on the skin of the wrists, forearms and lower legs. There is often a lacy network of white spots covering the insides of the cheeks. The disease is treated with corticosteroid drugs. Creams, sometimes supplemented with injections in severe cases are used to treat the rash. Most cases will clear in eighteen months.
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