Lichen planus is a skin condition that causes a rash to develop on the inside of the mouth and throat. It can also cause an itchy, red rash to develop on other parts of your body. Lichen Planus is not contagious and does not harm internal organs in any way; however, it can be very painful and difficult to manage without treatment. There are many treatments available for lichen planus but which one should you choose? In this blog post we will discuss how there are various treatment options for lichen planus that alleviate pain and irritation while getting rid of the rash quickly!
What is Lichen Planus?
Lichen planus is a lichenoid, non-infectious inflammatory skin disorder. It typically presents as an itchy or burning eruption with purple discolouration in the form of discrete papules coalescing into plaques. Lichen planus is a skin disease characterized by scaly and itchy lesions. It causes significant pain, burning, or tingling sensations. It is usually self-limiting, and lichen planus resolves without treatment within two years. It may recur periodically throughout life due to triggers such as sunlight or stress. It doesn’t really affect your breathing so most cases are milder than other types of dermatitis; however chronic sufferers should still consult their doctor because there’s no telling what else could happen if left untreated over long periods.
Who Gets Lichen Planus?
Lichen planus is a skin condition that affects one in every hundred people worldwide. Most are adults over the age of 40 years, but oral lichen planus more often occurs in women than men and about 10% have nail lichens which occur most frequently among those with diabetes mellitus or chronic renal failure.
What Causes Lichen Planus?
Lichen planus is a T cell-mediated autoimmune disorder, in which inflammatory cells attack an unknown protein within the skin and mucosal keratinocytes. Lichen Planus is an autoimmune skin disorder that can be triggered by a number of different factors, including stress, certain medications and some viral infections.
Lichen planus is an autoimmune disorder in which inflammatory cells attack an unknown protein within the skin and mucosal keratinocytes.
Lichen Planus is triggered by a number of different factors, including stress, certain medications and some viral infections. When lichen planus develops as the result of exposure to ultraviolet light or other known triggers, it’s called phototoxic lichenoid dermatitis.
What Are The Symptoms of Lichen Planus?
Lichen planus may cause a small number or many lesions on the skin and mouth.
Variants of Lichen Planus
The common variants of lichen planus and the treatment for all variants of lichen planys are
Cutaneous lichen planus
Cutaneous lichen planus can show up on the skin. There are different types of it, including classical lichen planus. Symptoms may be none or very bad itchiness. The plaques are often shiny and flat, with white lines called Wickham striae that cross them. (The size of the plaque ranges from small to larger than a centimetre in size.) The distribution may be scattered, clustered or linear, and areas affected by it include sun-exposed sites like the face.
Oral Lichen Planus
Oral lichen planus is a mouth disease. It often involves the inside of the cheeks and the sides of the tongue. The most common patterns are painless white streaks in a lacy or fern-like pattern or diffuse redness and peeling of the gums (desquamative gingivitis).
Vulval Lichen Planus
Vulval lichen planus is a skin problem that can happen to many parts of your vulva. You may have painless white streaks in a lacy or fern-like pattern, and you may also have scars. These will stop you from having sex and give you a mucky vaginal discharge. The eroded vagina may bleed easily on contact, too.
Penile Lichen Planus
Penile lichen planus usually starts off with small bumps around the penis head. Sometimes, it can also cause white lines and other things.
Other Mucosal Sites
Erosive lichen planus can also attack the external ear canal,eyelids, lacrimal glands, larynx, bladder, oesophagus, external ear canal and anus.
Lichen planopilaris is a skin condition that causes red, spiny follicular papules and smooth areas on the scalp. It can also appear less often on other parts of the body. The hair follicles are destroyed, which leads to bald patches with ‘lonely hairs’. It can be a form of lichen planus that affects the forehead and eyebrows too. Lichen planopilaris maybe like pseudopelade of Brocq, which is where you get small areas of scarring without hair. If you have this skin condition, your doctor may prescribe some medicine for it.
Nail Lichen Planus
Nail lichen planus affects the nails. It can make them look different and it might also affect other places, like the skin. Lichen planus makes the nail change and maybe stop growing. It may cause problems with where you live or what you do. But don’t worry! There are treatments for this problem so that it can go away!
Lichen Planus Pigmentosus
Lichen Planus Pigmentosus is a skin disease. It can be on your face and neck, or trunk and limbs. But it can also happen in places that are not sun-exposed like the armpits. The marks are shaped like ovals, greyish brown and they don’t have an inflammatory phase. They can be caused by too much sun exposure, but they might also come from places without any sun exposure at all like the armpits. Lichen planus pigmentosus is similar to erythema dyschromicum perstans, but it is a different disease even though they look the same.
Lichenoid Drug Eruption
Lichenoid drug eruption is a rash that looks like lichen planus caused by medications. The rash can be asymptomatic or itchy. It usually appears on the trunk but other sites, such as the oral mucosa, may also be affected. The most common medications that cause lichenoid eruptions are hydroxychloroquine and captopril.
What Are The Complications Of Lichen Planus?
The common complications of lichen planus include lichen planus pemphigoides and lichenoid drug eruption. Lichen planus pemphigoides is a severe complication that occurs when lichen planus becomes infected with bacteria or fungi, which can lead to tissue damage of the skin overlying it. In contrast, lichenoid drug eruptions are more commonly caused by medications such as antibiotics, sulfa drugs, tetracycline therapy for acne vulgaris in women who may be pregnant or breastfeeding, penicillin therapy for syphilis infection in infants born to mothers untreated for this condition during pregnancy (congenital syphilis), thiazide diuretics used for hypertension and congestive heart failure while taking an NSAID medication at the same time. Rarely, longstanding erosive lichen planus can result in true squamous cell cancer.
How is The Rash of Lichen Planus Different From That of Most Other Common Rashes?
Lichen planus can be distinguished from other skin diseases like psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis by its appearance. It will have bumps that are flat-topped, shiny, and purple to grey in colour. The bumps tend to occur at the wrists and elbows and ankles. When lichen planus affects the mucous membranes of the lips or cheeks, these white filmy eruptions clear up slowly when you stop taking the medication that caused it.
How is Lichen Planus Diagnosed?
In most cases, the diagnosis of lichen planus is based on how it looks. The doctor often wants to take a sample of the skin for testing to be sure that everything is okay. The tissue will look like it has been reacting to something and will show up in a few different ways:
The epidermis (top layer of skin) will be thicker than usual
Skin cells may not be normal and can break apart easily
It may also have melanin (a brown pigment) right below the epidermis Direct immunofluorescent staining may reveal deposits of immunoglobulins at the base of the epidermis.
Pain or Discomfort Due to Lichen Planus
If you have white, lacy patches on your cheek, they may not cause pain. But if you also have red, swollen patches or open sores, you might have a burning sensation or pain, sensitivity to hot, acidic or spicy foods, bleeding and irritation with tooth brushing. Your gums might hurt and be inflamed (gingivitis). Your tongue will have thickened patches that may make it difficult to speak or chew.
What Happens To Untreated Lichen Planus?
Lichen planus is a disease. It often goes away in a couple of years, but it might take a decade or longer for mucosal lichen planus. Spontaneous recovery is unpredictable and lichen planus may come back at any time. There is no cure for lichen planus, and the scars are permanent, including balding of the scalp.
Treatment of Lichen Planus
The usual treatment for lichen planus is a lichen planus topical corticosteroid. Typically applied once or twice daily to the lichen-affected area in most cases, lichen planus topical corticosteroids are also available as a prescription 0.05% cream (clobetasol), gel (betamethasone dipropionate) ointment (diflorasone diacetate). Alternate treatment may be indicated if there is no improvement with usual therapy; such alternate treatments include calcineurin inhibitors like pimecrolimus or tacrolimus creams or ointments, azathioprine therapy, oral immunosuppressant drugs.
Side-effects of Topical Corticosteroid
Long-term use of a lichen topical steroid may lead to lichen planus pemphigoids which has severe skin damage overlying it that occurs when lichen planus becomes infected with bacteria or fungi.
Homeopathy Treatment of Lichen Planus
The homeopathy treatment of lichen planus works by stimulating the body’s own immune system to fight off what has caused the lichen planus infection. The common two remedies for lichen planus – Arsenic Alb. and Psorinum are used for early or severe symptoms of lichen planus where there may be more intense itching and pain with this skin condition.
Homeopathic remedies can relieve symptoms such as itching and skin inflammation and also cure the underlying causation which is often overlooked by lichen planus sufferers who focus on treating their current condition rather than focusing compelete cure.
Welling Homeopathy CUREPlus treatment can completely cure Lichen planus.