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Lichen Planus - Overview

Lichen planus (LP) is a chronic inflammatory condition that affects the skin (lichen planus skin), scalp (lichen planus scalp), mouth and genitals. It is characterized by rows or clusters of dark, raised, flat-topped skin lesions.

Lichen PlanusLichen Planus

At Dr Batra’s™, we ensure the best lichen planus treatment with the expertise and experience of treating over 1.41 lakhs patients with skin disorders successfully over the last 35 years. We have a 94.3% success rate in treating skin disorders including lichen planus, as authenticated by the American Quality Assessors.

 

What is Lichen Planus?

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, lichen planus is an autoimmune disease that affects almost 0.5 to 2% of the world’s population. It presents with dark, raised, flat-topped lesions, mostly affecting the skin. It can also involve the scalp, nails (lichen planus of the nails), oral cavity and genitals in many cases.

Lichen planus is neither infectious nor contagious in nature. Apart from being chronic, the disease has periods of remissions (when the symptoms disappear or reduce in intensity) and relapses (when the symptoms increase in intensity). Hence, patient compliance towards conventional treatment is poor at times due to frequent remissions.

Lichen planus can affect people of any age group, though; it tends to be common in young adults and middle-aged people. However, children and old people can also be affected by this disease. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, onset of lichen planus is most common in middle age, with the average age being 50 to 60 years. Lichen planus affects women more commonly as compared to men.

The cause of lichen planus is not known and understood. Conventional therapies for lichen planus tend to be more symptomatic and superficial in nature as they do not treat the root cause. On the other hand, homeopathic medicines treat the root cause of the problem and also bring about a positive impact on the psyche of the patients. This helps in facilitating long-term remedy with lesser relapses.

Variants of lichen planus

Lichen planus may occur differently in different individuals. Certain variants may also respond better to treatments, whereas others tend to be more obstinate. Depending on the presentation of the lesions (and their peculiar locations), described below are some types of lichen planus:

  • Hypertrophic lichen planus (lichen planus verrucosus): These are thickened itchy lesions of lichen planus, usually seen on the extremities, especially the shin (between the knee and foot).
  • Follicular lichen planus (or lichen planopilaris): This type of LP affects hair follicles, which further leads to scarring. In most cases, the patient may even experience hair loss in the affected parts;
  • Lichen planus actinicus (actinic lichen planus): This type is more commonly seen during the summers. Exposed areas of the face, dorsum of the hands (back of the hands), arms and nape of the neck develop dark lesions with pale borders.
  • Lichen planus pigmentosus:This type results in dark-brown spots that develop in sun-exposed areas and folds of the skin. In most cases, it also spreads to the upper body.
  • Annular lichen planus:This type of LP commonly involves the male genitalia, but also has a predilection for folds of the skin, such as the axilla and groin folds. This is marked by small clusters of lesions in a ring form.
  • Linear lichen planus:This results in lesions that develop along a straight line, usually on the extremities.

Apart from the above mentioned types, there are other rare types of lichen planus such as bullous, ulcerative and atrophic lichen planus.

Causes of Lichen Planus

The exact cause of LP is not known. Some probable causes of lichen planus include immune reactions, chemicals, excess stress, heredity and certain drugs. These drugs may include anti-inflammatory medications, long-term use of certain antibiotics and amalgam dental fillings.

Symptoms of Lichen Planus

LP can be easily identified by the typical location of spots and their characteristic ‘violaceous’ appearance. Eruptions often involve the insides of wrists, ankles, lower back, scalp, nails and mucous membranes that line the mouth, nose, vagina, penis and anus. Small clusters of flat-topped eruptions may appear in rows on these areas resulting in itching that may vary from mild to severe.

Homeopathic Treatment for Lichen Planus

Homeopathy is a fast-growing alternative medicine that offers the safest, most natural and side-effect free treatment for lichen planus Since homeopathy targets the psycho-somatic nature of this disorder, it is a mind-body medicine. It treats the ailment holistically, providing long-lasting relief from physical as well as emotional symptoms. Homeopathic medicine addresses the body at the level of immunity and gently restores the deviation back to normalcy. It helps to control the progression of the disease, thus giving lasting results.

FAQs

Is lichen planus (LP) a serious disease?

In general, LP is not a harmful or fatal disease and generally disappears by itself in time. In some cases, it can persist for a long time and the intensity varies from person to person. It is recommended to consult an expert to evaluate the intensity and type of the condition for an effective treatment.https://www.drbatras.com/book-an-appointment.

What does lichen planus look like?

Lichen skin appears as small, flat-topped, red-to-purple bumps with round or irregular shape. The number of lesions may vary from few small bumps or clusters. A closer look may reveal white scales or flakes that are in some cases, wispy and gray-to-white streaks called Wickham's Striae.

Does vitamin D help lichen planus?

Lichen planus disease is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that causes lesions. A study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information shows that vitamin D has an endocrine effect on immune system cells and exhibits anti inflammatory and regulatory effects on the immune system. This results in potential therapeutic effects on autoimmune diseases such as psoriasis, vitiligo and LP.

What foods should I avoid with lichen planus?

Patients with lichen skin disease must avoid eating spicy foods and anything acidic, such as fruit juice. These can irritate oral lichen planus and increase the intensity of the lesions. It is also recommended to avoid eating sharp food, such as crusty bread and drinking alcohol.

Is lichen planus linked to other diseases?

Lichen planus disease is a cell-mediated immune response. A similar abnormal immune response may be found with other auto-immune diseases such as ulcerative colitis, alopecia areata, vitiligo, dermatomyositis, morphea, lichen sclerosis, and myasthenia gravis. According to a report published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the etiology of this disease remains unknown, but various causal factors have been associated to diseases such as anxiety, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, mainly chronic liver disease, intestinal diseases, cholesterol, hypertension and a genetic predisposition to cancer.
It is therefore imperative to choose the right treatment for the disease that ensures safe and long-lasting results. Homeopathy has proven its efficacy in the treatment of lichen planus, which is clearly demonstrated by a clinical study conducted at the Department of Oral Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences in 2008. This research study evaluates the effectiveness of Ignatia 30C (a homeopathic drug) in the management of oral lichen planus. In this single-blind randomized control clinical trial, 30 consecutive patients with erosive and/or atrophic oral lesions were recruited. At the end of four months, the authors concluded that Ignatia has a beneficial effect on the treatment of oral lichen planus on selected patients. To know more about the treatment of skin disorders, book an appointment with our expert homeopaths.https://www.drbatras.com/book-an-appointment.

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