Low dose oral glucocorticoid therapy in lichen planus: A retrospective cohort study

Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 2023 Jul-Aug;89(4):568-571. doi: 10.25259/IJDVL_1111_2021.


Background There are various topical and systemic treatment options for the management of lichen planus. However, it is often difficult to achieve long-term disease control and many of the common therapies may be associated with unwanted side effects. Aims To evaluate the effectiveness of 8 mg oral methylprednisolone administered daily in lichen planus by the analysis of medical records. Methods In this retrospective cohort study, we compared the rates of improvement between two groups of patients. The first group received 8 mg oral methylprednisolone daily for at least one month. In the second group, patients with similar parameters to the first group (age, sex, disease manifestation) but without systemic glucocorticoid therapy were included. Fisher's exact test was used to compare the rates of remission in the two groups. Results In the daily oral methylprednisolone (n = 24) and no systemic corticosteroids (n = 16) groups, 23 (95.8%) and 6 (37.5%) patients achieved partial or complete remission, respectively. The frequency of improvement was significantly higher in patients who received oral methylprednisolone (P < 0.0001). Limitations Limitations of this study include its retrospective design and the relatively small sample size. Conclusion Low dose oral glucocorticoid therapy may be an effective option for the systemic treatment of lichen planus. Based on our results and previous studies, instead of higher doses, longer therapy duration with low doses should be considered.

Keywords: Lichen planus; corticosteroids; glucocorticoids; oral lichen planus; systemic treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Glucocorticoids / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Lichen Planus* / drug therapy
  • Lichen Planus, Oral* / diagnosis
  • Lichen Planus, Oral* / drug therapy
  • Methylprednisolone
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Glucocorticoids
  • Methylprednisolone