October 7, 2022

| perri dermatology
Medically reviewed by Anthony J. Perri, M.D.

What is Lichen Planopilaris?

Lichen Planopilaris is a rare form of scarring alopecia where the immune system directly attacks stem cells in hair follicles. This causes hair strands to fall out easily, leaving exposed hair follicles to close up and scar.

Large clump of hair being pulled out of a hairbrush | perri dermatology


Though some patients may be asymptomatic, some signs of Lichen Planopilaris include:

  • Itching
  • Pain
  • Tenderness
  • Discomfort
  • Burning
  • Rapid and Significant Hair Loss
  • Bald Patches

Most hair loss will appear in the crown of the head nearing the sides, front and lower back of the scalp.

How Is It Diagnosed?

Due to its microscopic size, there are limited ways in which Lichen Planopilaris can be accurately diagnosed. The primary way of diagnosing is through a scalp biopsy, subsequent to examining the hair and scalp with a microscope.

Can It Be Treated?

Hair loss caused by Lichen Planopilaris is permanent due to its scarring qualities; however, medication can be prescribed to lower inflammation and slow down hair loss. Some treatments include:

  • Hydroxychloroquine
  • Minoxidil
  • Corticosteroids
  • Ciclosporin

Additional treatment studies using JAK-inhibitors are currently in action. JAK-inhibitors have been proven to help patients with Alopecia Areata, but still in the works for Lichen Planopilaris due to its scarring effects.

If you have additional questions about Lichen Planopilaris, any other type of Alopecia, or fear you could be a potential recipient, fill out our web form or contact our team today! Unsure if your insurance will cover your visit? Check out our insurance coverage page for a list of accepted insurance companies so you know beforehand if you are covered.