It is an autoimmune condition that causes inflammation on the lining of the mouth. It can affect the gums, tongue and lips, but is usually seen on the inside of the cheeks.
We see oral lichen planus during midlife, but it can occur any time and can last for years. Lichen planus can be found on the skin, scalp, nails and genitals. Like other autoimmune conditions, the cause is unknown but something triggers the inflammatory process in the mucous membranes.
The lip lesion could also have been squamous cell carcinoma and a biopsy can cinch the diagnosis. High potency corticosteroid gels are used as treatment.