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AAD Looks at Treatments for Conditions Targeting Those with Darker Skin Tones

Posted: September 30, 2009

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Lichen planus

Lichen planus is a common inflammatory disease of the skin and the mouth that is characterized by a rash of round, or oval, violet-colored lesions. While lichen planus can affect people of all races and genders, it is more pronounced in people with darker skin because, as the lesions heal, the affected skin can develop very dark, leopard-looking spots.

When caught early, steroid injections are used to reduce the inflammation thereby minimizing hyperpigmentation. However, if the condition progresses before it can be treated and dark spots appear, Dr. Breadon explained that the triple cream topical medication, mild or systemic steroids, or lasers can be used with varying degrees of success to try to lighten the darkened areas of the skin.

“Detecting lichen planus early can make all the difference between spots that heal without hyperpigmentation and spots that are extremely pronounced and do not fade on their own,” said Dr. Breadon. “That’s why it is critical that people who experience an unexplained rash see their dermatologist immediately for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Ashy dermatosis