Background: Alcohol intake and smoking have been reported to be risk factors in some inflammatory skin disorders. There is a dearth of published data on the relation between smoking/alcohol intake and oral lichen planus. Moreover, the reports on the relationship of these habits with cutaneous lichen planus (CLP) are lacking. Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate smoking and alcohol as potential risk factors in CLP. Methods: We examined smoking habits and alcohol consumption in 55 patients with CLP, and compared the results with control subjects who had superficial fungal infections, matched for age and sex. Results: There was no statistical difference between the two groups according to the rate of patients that had ever smoked (combining both current and past smokers) and the rate of the patients who had never smoked (p > 0.05). No significant difference was found between CLP patients and controls with respect to current smokers and subjects who never smoked (p > 0.05). The most notable finding was that the rate of subjects who quitted smoking was significantly higher among CLP patients compared to controls (23.6 vs. 5.5%, p < 0.05). Regarding alcohol consumption, there was no significant difference between the groups (p > 0.05). Conclusion: We conclude that alcohol intake and smoking do not appear to be risk factors for CLP. The increased incidence of ex-smokers in patients with CLP was an unexpected and interesting finding. Further epidemiological studies and investigations are warranted to clear up this observation.

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