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Urinary retention, lichen planus

Created date

May 24th, 2017
Senior woman talking to female doctor during office visit

Please note: The following questions were submitted by readers. The answers are intended for your general information and should not replace a doctor’s medical advice.

Q. I have a problem with urinary retention and feel as if I spend half my life in the bathroom. Are there effective treatments?

A. Urinary retention can be due to urethral obstruction, medications, nerve problems, or weak bladder muscles. It may seem like only a nuisance, but chronic urinary retention can result in chronic urine tract infections, bladder damage, kidney damage, or incontinence. It is far more common in men and usually related to prostate problems. The treatment depends on the cause, so a full evaluation by a specialist is likely if your doctor deems it necessary. If retention is related to medications, making adjustments may be all it takes. Self-catheterization may be necessary if muscle or nerve problems are the cause, and stent placement or other surgical procedures may help with obstructive causes. Talk to your primary doctor right away about this problem.  

Q. I have a skin condition called lichen planus. How can I keep the rashes from coming back?

A. Lichen planus is an itchy skin rash that can also cause painful mouth sores. The exact cause is unknown, but it might be related to an allergy or immune system problem. Lichen planus is treatable with medication and usually clears up, but it is considered a chronic condition and so it may flare up periodically. Sometimes medications can exacerbate it, so have your doctor evaluate all your medicines, both prescription and over-the-counter. Your doctor can also decide if you need to see a specialist for treatment. 


Health and wellness experts practice exclusively at Erickson Living communities. Dr. Suneja received her medical degree at Maulana Azad Medical College in New Delhi, India. She then completed her residency in internal medicine at Sinai Grace Hospital, affiliated with Wayne State University, in Detroit, Mich. Board-certified in internal medicine, Suneja joined Fox Run in November 2003.

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