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Lichen Planus in African Children: A Study of 13 Patients

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Lichen planus is an uncommonly encountered dermatosis in children, reported worldwide, however in sub-Saharan Africa there is paucity of data on Lichen planus among children. The aim of this study was to document the clinical types of Lichen planus observed in children in South East Nigeria from 1998 to 2001; and to highlight any differences and similarities with adult disease. In all, 13 patients (eight boys and five girls) aged between 3 and 15 years were diagnosed with Lichen planus. The limbs were the most common sites of involvement for nine (69.2%) children. Classic Lichen planus was the commonest clinical variant in eight (61.5%), while extensive hypertrophic plaques were observed in three (23.1%), linear lesions in two (15.4%) and eruptive generalized Lichen planus in two (15.4%). Koebner phenomenon was documented in five (38.5%); mucosal involvement, which is very uncommon in children affected by this disease, occurred in three (23.1%). Only one child had pterygium formation in all 20 nails (total nail dystrophy). No child had scalp or palmoplantar involvement. Despite the endemicity of hepatitis B surface antigen in our environment, this study also revealed that liver function tests were not significantly different between children with Lichen planus and hepatitis B surface antigen and those who were negative for this antigen; while anti-hepatitis C virus seropositivity was not recorded in any of these children.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2007

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