Acquired White Oral Lesions with Specific Patterns: Oral Lichen Planus and Lupus Erythematosus

Dermatol Pract Concept. 2021 May 20;11(3):e2021074. doi: 10.5826/dpc.1103a74. eCollection 2021 May.


Background: Diagnosis of oral white lesions might be challenging. These lesions represent a wide spectrum of diseases with different etiology and prognosis. Oral white lesions can be categorized into two major groups, congenital and acquired, according to their development, and in four subgroups: lesions which can be scraped off or not and lesions with special pattern or not.

Objectives: The aim of this manuscript is to review, from diagnosis to treatment, the current knowledge on oral white lesions with specific pattern.

Methods: A review on oral white lesions with specific pattern was conducted on PubMed and Scopus from inception to January 2021.

Results: Among acquired lesions with specific pattern two clinical entities are mostly represented: Oral lichenoid reactions and Lupus erythematosus. The etiology of both diseases is still not known but their pathogenesis is mainly immunological. At present the mucoscopic features of those disease have been described only in few case reports or case series. Immunomodulatory therapies are often the agents of choice for their treatment.

Conclusions: The collaboration of dermatologists and dentists as a team is important for early diagnoses and effective treatments. Mucoscopy is a promising technique which may reveal important features for the differentiation of OLP and LE oral white lesions.

Keywords: Oral white lesions; lichen planus; lupus erythematosus; mucoscopy.

Publication types

  • Review