Purple, pruritic, polygonal, planar papules and plaques

So there you have it! The 6 P’s of Lichen Planus.

Purple – This rash often takes on a purplish hue.

Pruritic – Lichen planus is often itchy.

Polygonal – The rash can consist of geometric looking shapes.

Planar – Lichen planus is often “flat-topped.”

Papules – Raised bumps.

Plaques – Larger than papules, these are raised as well.

Keep in mind that lichen planus can take on many forms though, and while the 6 P’s mnemonic works for most forms of lichen planus on the skin, the rash can present differently as well and can also show up in the mouth, genital area, and scalp.

What are those red spots on your body?

Photograph of a cherry angioma
Photograph of a cherry angioma

Patients often ask me about bright pink dots that they’ve noticed cropping up on their skin.  These little spots can be flat or raised, and are usually relatively small and only millimeters wide.  These spots are called cherry angiomas, aka cherry hemangiomas.  They are asymptomatic and benign, and do not need to be treated unless desired cosmetically.  They most often crop up in adulthood and those who develop one are more likely to develop others.  The majority of my adult patients have these growths.

If they are of cosmetic concern, pulsed dye laser treatment is a great way to remove these growths.  Otherwise, nothing has to be done!