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Answering Questions on Scalp Lichen Planus

Lichen planus is an inflammatory skin condition that usually appears on the skin surface of the arms, the genitals, the inside of the mouth, or on the scalp. The lesions are usually red, dark pink or even purple in colour. The rash usually has bumps and tends to itch and flake. While anyone can develop lichen planus, studies show that women are usually more susceptible than men.

What causes lichen planus?

Lichen planus is an autoimmune disease. An autoimmune disease refers to a malfunctioning of the immune system in which the body ends up attacking its own cells. There are two main causes that are known to cause lichen planus:

  1. A reaction to medication: Certain medications such as anti-malarial drugs, high blood pressure pills, and anti-rheumatic drugs are known to cause reactions in the immune system that can lead to inflammatory conditions.
  2. A result of Hepatitis C: Studies have shown that people suffering from Hepatitis C often develop lichen planus due to a weakened immune system.

Understanding scalp lichen planus

Scalp lichen planus, also called lichen planopilaris, is a relatively uncommon form of this skin condition. Lichen planopilaris is a scarring form of hair loss in which your hair follicle is destroyed.There are many misconceptions, myths, and doubts on this scalp disease. Due to these doubts, many are confused about the right hair treatment methods to be adopted. Here are some of the most common questions on this scalp lichen planus and their answers.

  1. I think my colleague has lichen planus. Is it a contagious skin condition?

Lichen planus is not a contagious disease. So, you don’t need to worry about extending a handshake to someone who has the condition. Neither is it a sexually transmitted disease.

  1. Does scalp lichen planus cause permanent hair loss?

Untreated scalp lichen planus is known to be a cause of hair loss. The hair loss occurs due to the scarring and damage of the follicle and this is often permanent. However, timely diagnosis and treatment can prevent the spread of the disease and reduce further hair loss.

  1. Can scalp lichen planus lead to other conditions such as dandruff?

Scalp lichen planus doesn’t necessarily cause other scalp conditions, but it may increase your susceptibility to them. Studies have shown that people with scalp lichen planus are usually at a higher risk of severe dandruff, scalp vitiligo, or even alopecia areata.

  1. Do chemical hair treatment products cause lichen planus on the scalp?

Hair styling products do not directly cause lichen planus. However, it is known that chemicals can irritate your skin cells and cause allergic reactions. An excessive use of hair sprays and dyes can trigger a predisposition to scalp lichen planus.

  1. Is scalp lichen planus a genetic condition?

Certain studies have shown that lichen planus can be genetically passed on. However, it is not such a strong gene passed on as baldness or diseases like diabetes. So, if someone in your family does have this skin condition, you may or may not develop it.

  1. Does stress have an impact on lichen planus?

Stress does not directly cause scalp lichen planus. However, chronic stress can trigger an underlying susceptibility to autoimmune diseases. Thus, many people who develop lichen planus notice that their breakouts often coincide with periods of high stress.

  1. Are there any foods that worsen a lichen planus problem?

There are no particular foods that can cure or cause lichen planus. If you are diagnosed with the condition, your doctor will advise you to eat home-cooked food and reduce your intake of salt, vinegar, and refined flour. If you have oral lichen planus you might want to avoid spicy foods that can aggravate the lesions in your mouth.

Homeopathic treatment for lichen planus

Homeopathic medicines for lichen planus have long proven their efficacy in clinical tests and real treatment cases. With no harmful side-effects, homeopathic medicines have an upper advantage over conventional treatment. Homeopathic medicines are taken orally and the entire treatment is painless. This makes homeopathy especially suitable for young children, and the elderly. Homeopathic treatment for lichen planus focuses on healing the lesions, preventing further spread of the condition, and providing lasting relief to the patient.

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