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By the way, doctor: Could this skin condition be caused by stress?

February 01, 2006

Q. I've been diagnosed with lichen planus. Could it have been caused by stress or perhaps exposure to mercury? (I eat a lot of tuna.) And does it ever go away?

A. Lichen planus is a fairly rare skin condition producing a shiny, flat, purplish rash that often appears on the inside wrist. The rash can be itchy and unsightly. It may also affect the inside of the mouth and the genitals. Cases that affect the mouth cause whitish streaks on the inside of the cheeks. Painful sores may also develop, and they can turn cancerous, although that's rare.

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