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J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2010 May;24(5):535-40. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-3083.2009.03460.x. Epub 2009 Oct 15.

Clinicopathological characteristics of lichen planus pigmentosus and its response to tacrolimus ointment: an open label, non-randomized, prospective study.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Kuwait University, Kuwait. nalmut@usa.net



Lichen planus pigmentosus (LPP) is an uncommon variant of lichen planus, for which no effective treatment is available. Objectives The aim of this study was to determine the clinical, epidemiological and histopathological characteristics of LPP patients in Kuwait.


Thirty-three LPP patients who attended the Dermatology outpatient clinics at Farwaniya Hospital, Kuwait from the year 2002 to 2008 were studied for clinical, epidemiological and histopathological findings. Thirteen of these patients were treated with topical tacrolimus 0.03%. Ointment applied topically twice daily for the duration varying from 6 to 12 weeks.


Of the 33 patients, 21 were men and 12 were women. The duration of eruption ranged from 6 weeks to 3 years. The face and neck were the commonest sites, affecting 18 (54.5%) patients. The pattern of pigmentation was diffuse in 18 (54.54%) patients, reticular in seven (21.2%), blotchy in five (15.2%), linear in two (6.1%) and perifollicular in one (3%). Twenty patients had positive serology for hepatitis C virus (HCV), with significantly higher serum liver enzymes (ALT and AST). Of the 13 patients, who were treated with tacrolimus Ointment, seven (53.8%) showed appreciable lightening of the pigmentation after an average of 12 weeks.


We conclude that HCV may be one of the factors associated with LPP, in those who have a tendency to develop LPP. However, this possible association should be interpreted carefully. In addition, tacrolimus ointment could have a beneficial role in the treatment of LPP.

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