Lichen planopilaris: An Inflammatory Disease

Lichen planopilaris is associated with Inflammation Around Hairs

Lichen planopilaris (LPP) is a type of scarring hair loss that gives permanent hair loss. Scalp biopsies are performed if the diagnosis is still not clear after the physician has examined the scalp.


This photo shows a scalp biopsy from a patient with lichen planopilaris. The skin surface is shown at the top of the picture. Four hair follicles can be seen below that. Inflammation is seen surrounding these hairs. This inflammation promotes the progressive destruction of hair follicles.

Histopathology of lichen planopilaris: Inflammation is seen around the hairs

Histopathology of lichen planopilaris: Inflammation is seen around the hairs

Treatments for LPP

Treatments for LPP are reviewed in other articles. Treatments that stop inflammation are often helpful in LPP including topical steroids, steroid injections, topical calcineurin inhibitors, oral doxycycline, oral hydroxychloroquine (Plaquneil), methotrexate, cyclosporine, isotretinoin, mycophenolate ... and others. The goal of treatment is typically to help stop the disease rather than prompt regrowth. That said, the aggressive treatment of LPP in the early stages may help with some amount of regrowth.


Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Whistler office at 604.283.1887



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