Lichen planus after COVID-19 infection and vaccination

Arch Dermatol Res. 2023 Mar;315(2):139-146. doi: 10.1007/s00403-022-02497-y. Epub 2022 Dec 5.


Lichen planus (LP) is an inflammatory disorder believed to result from CD8 + cytotoxic T-cell (CTL)-mediated autoimmune reactions against basal keratinocytes. We present a review of LP following COVID-19 infection and vaccination. Literature searches were conducted on PubMed and Google Scholar from 2019 to 7/2022. 36 articles were selected based on subject relevance, and references within articles were also screened. 39 cases of post-vaccination LP and 6 cases of post-infection LP were found among case reports and case series. 152 cases of post-vaccination LP and 12 cases of post-infection LP were found in retrospective and prospective studies. LP is a rare complication of COVID-19 infection and vaccination that may be mediated by overstimulation of T-cell responses and proinflammatory cytokine production. However, it does not represent a limitation against COVID-19 vaccination, and the benefits of vaccination considerably outweigh the risks.

Keywords: CD4 + helper T-cell (Th1); CD8 + cytotoxic T-cell (CTL); Interferon (INF); Interleukin (IL); Lichen planus (LP); Oral lichen planus (OLP); Oral lichenoid lesions (OLL); Tumor necrosis factor (TNF).

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19 Vaccines* / adverse effects
  • COVID-19* / complications
  • COVID-19* / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Lichen Planus* / etiology
  • Lichen Planus, Oral*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies


  • COVID-19 Vaccines