The therapy of oral lichen planus

Crit Rev Oral Biol Med. 1993;4(2):141-58. doi: 10.1177/10454411930040020101.


Oral lichen planus is a chronic mucocutaneous disease that is relatively common. Although many patients are asymptomatic and require no therapy, those who exhibit atrophic and erosive lesions are often a challenge to treat. All therapies are palliative, and none is effective universally. Currently employed treatment modalities include corticosteroids administered topically, intralesionally, or systemically. Alternative therapies include topical and systemic retinoids, griseofulvin, Cyclosporine, and surgery. Other medical treatments and experimental modalities, including mouth PUVA, have been reported to be effective. Controversy concerning the efficacy of all these treatments suggests that oral lichen planus is a heterogeneous disorder. Eliminating lichenoid drug eruptions, candidiasis, trauma, contact mucositis, and emotional stress may play a role in the management of these patients. This article is a review of the many treatments and measures that have been employed in the management of patients with oral lichen planus.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / administration & dosage
  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / therapeutic use
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • Candidiasis, Oral / etiology
  • Cryosurgery
  • Cyclosporine / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Lichen Planus / complications
  • Lichen Planus / etiology
  • Lichen Planus / therapy*
  • Mouth Diseases / therapy*
  • Mouth Mucosa / pathology
  • PUVA Therapy
  • Phenytoin / therapeutic use
  • Retinoids / administration & dosage
  • Retinoids / therapeutic use


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Antifungal Agents
  • Antiviral Agents
  • Retinoids
  • Phenytoin
  • Cyclosporine