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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 60-66

Effective treatment option for lichen planus: Steroids or low molecular weight heparins?

1 Aesthetics Skin and Laser Clinic, Tirupathi, Andhra Pradesh, India
2 Department of Dermatology, Leprosy and Venerology, Apollo Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad, Telangana, India

Correspondence Address:
Tina Priscilla
403, Supercorona Apartments, Near Shaikpet Dargah, OU Colony, Hyderabad 500008, Telangana.
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijdd.ijdd_31_20

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Background: Data on safety and efficacy of low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) in lichen planus (LP) and comparison with oral corticosteroids (OCs) in Indian patients is limited. Aims: The aim of this article is to compare the clinical efficacy of LMWH and systemic corticosteroids in LP. Materials and Methods: This study was a single-center prospective comparative study. The patients received either LMWH subcutaneously (3 mg weekly for 6 weeks) or OC (20 mg/day for 6 weeks, tapered gradually). Results: Fifty patients were enrolled in the study, and 35 (70.0%) were females. Mean age of the study population was 35.46 years with age ranging between 21 and 40 years. Itching (92.0%) was a common symptom; generalized cutaneous lesions (90.0%) and involvement of mucous membrane were seen in 40%. Classical LP was common (56.0%). Early results were seen with OC (week 4) compared to LMWH (week 5); higher cure rate was seen with OC (89.47% vs. 76.0%) at week 6. There was no significant statistical difference (P > 0.05) in the therapeutic response between the study groups. No new lesions were noted in 23 and 13 patients treated with OC and LMWH, respectively. Relapse rate (33.33%) was higher in patients treated with LMWH (P < 0.05). Treatment with low-dose LMWH was associated with no side effects, whereas gastric irritation (42.1%) was the most common side effect followed by facial puffiness (31.57%) and acneiform eruptions (26.31%) with OC. The cost of treatment was more for LMWH compared with OC. Conclusion: Both treatment modalities were comparable in efficacy and tolerated well. LMWH had no adverse effect but had a high relapse rate. Therapy with OC is cost-effective.

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