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Lichen planus


Homeopathic Treatment of Lichen Planus

Lichen planus is a chronic mucocutaneous disease that affects the skin, tongue, and oral mucosa. The disease presents itself in the form of papules, lesions, or rashes. It is estimated that lichen planus affects 1-2% of the population worldwide and is more common in adults over the age of 40.Lichen planus of the skin affects men and woman equally. However, oral lichen planus is more common among females. The mouth is affected in around 50% of all cases of lichen planus.The onset of lichen planus can be sudden or gradual. The first attack may last for weeks or months, and recurrences may happen for years. The bumps at first are 2 mm to 4 mm in diameter, with angular borders and a violet color. An excess of pigment (hyperpigmentation) may develop in the affected skin as the lesions persist.

Causes:

The exact cause of lichen planus is unknown. However, the condition is not infectious and does not run in families. It cannot be passed on to other people, including sexual partner. It is thought to be related to either the immune system (the body's natural defence against infection and illness) or an allergic reaction to certain medicines.

1. Autoimmune reaction:

The immune system protects your body against infection by producing antibodies (proteins) that attack bacteria and viruses.In people with lichen planus, it is thought that the immune system becomes overactive, causing an excess amount of proteins to be produced which then inflames the skin. This is known as an autoimmune reaction and causes the symptoms associated with the condition.

2. Reaction to medication:

An allergic reaction to certain medications is another possible cause of lichen planus. For example.

3. Gold injections:

These are disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) which are sometimes injected into the muscles of people with arthritis to help reduce swelling (inflammation) and painful joints

4. Antimalarial tablets:

These help to treat and prevent malaria (a tropical disease spread by infected mosquitoes)

 

Symptoms of Lichen Planus:

The symptoms of lichen planus vary depending on which area of the body is affected.

The areas of the body that can be affected by the condition include:

  • Skin
  • Mouth
  • Penis
  • Vulva (external female sex organs) and vagina

Lichen planus of the skin:

Symptoms:

  • Purple-red coloured bumps (papules) that are slightly raised, shiny and have a flat top
  • The papules usually measure 3-5mm in diameter
  • The papules may also have irregular white streaks (Wickham's striae)
  • Thicker scaly patches can appear, usually around the ankles – this is known as hypertrophic lichen planus
  • Itchy skin
  • Lichen planus of the skin often affects the wrists, ankles and lower back, although other parts of the body can also be affected.
  • Thickened (hypertrophic) lichen planus affects the shins and ring-shaped lichen planus affects creases in the skin, such as the armpits. After the lesions have cleared, the affected area of skin can sometimes become discoloured.

Lichen planus of the mouth (oral lichen planus):

Symptoms:

  • A white pattern on the tongue and inner cheeks
  • White and red patches in the mouth
  • Burning and discomfort in the mouth while eating or drinking
  • Painful, red gums
  • Recurring mouth ulcers
  • Mild cases of oral lichen planus do not usually cause any pain or discomfort.

Lichen planus of the penis:

Symtoms:

  • Purple or white ring-shaped patches on the tip of the penis (glans)
  • Bumps (papules) that are flat-topped and shiny
  • The rash is often not itchy

Lichen planus of the vulva and vagina:

Symptoms:

  • Soreness, burning and rawness around the vulva
  • The vulva may be covered in white streaks and be a red, pink or pale white colour
  • If the vagina is affected, sexual intercourse can be painful
  • if the outer layers of skin break down, moist, red patches can formscar tissue can form, which distorts the shape of the vagina
  • A sticky, yellow or green discharge, which may be bloodstained
  • the opening of the vagina can become narrowed.

Other areas:

Sometimes, other areas can also be affected by lichen planus. These include:

  • The nails – these can become thinner, ridged and grooved, or they may become darker, thicker or raised, and may sometimes shed or stop growing.
  • The scalp – red patches can appear around clusters of hair and in some cases, permanent hair loss can occur.

Treatment:

There is no cure for lichen planus, so treatments aim to ease the symptoms and clear the rash. Mild cases of lichen planus will not require treatment.

Management of Lichen Planus:

Below is some general self-help advice that you can follow to help ease your symptoms and prevent them from getting worse.

Lichen planus of the skin:

  • Avoid washing with soap or bubble bath – use plain warm water instead.
  • Wash your hair over a basin to stop affected areas of skin coming into contact with shampoo.
  • Use an emollient to moisturise your skin.

Lichen planus of the mouth (oral lichen planus):

  • Avoid eating spicy foods and anything acidic, such as fruit juice, as they can irritate oral lichen planus.
  • Avoid eating sharp food, such as crusty bread.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol, particularly spirits.
  • If areas of your mouth are painful, stick to soft, bland foods, such as mashed potatoes and porridge.
  • If possible, continue to use your usual toothpaste.
  • Avoid using mouthwashes that contain alcohol as they may be too strong, and keep your mouth as clean as possible.
  • Visit your dentist regularly to help keep your gums and teeth healthy.

Lichen planus of the genitals:

  • Avoid washing with soap or bubble bath – use plain warm water or a soap substitute instead, such as aqueous cream.
  • Use an emollient, such as petroleum jelly, before and after urinating.
  • Applying ice packs to the affected areas may soothe itching and swelling (never apply an ice pack directly to your skin – wrap it in a clean tea towel before placing it on your body)
  • Women should avoid wearing tights.

Lichen planus of the skin, hair and nails:

  • There are a number of medications and treatments that may be recommended for lichen planus of the skin, hair and nails.
  • Corticosteroid creams and ointments.
  • Creams and ointments that contain corticosteroids (artificial hormones) are often used to treat inflammatory skin conditions.

Homeopathic Treatment of Lichen Planus:

Homeopathy can help resolve the immune reaction & prevent reoccurrences. Homeopathic treatment has helped thousands of sufferers worldwide. The medicines prescribed can minimize the immune reaction responsible for the lesions as well as improve your body’s ability to fight viruses and allergens. Your body will be less prone to recurrent flare-ups and offer sustainable relief.

The science of homeopathy looks at any skin disorder as an external expression of the internal disharmony. In other words, it is understood that due to certain internal system disorder, the Lichen Planus is manifested as an outcome. With this appreciation, it is emphasized that the treatment of Lichen Planus has to be essentially in order to normalize the internal disorder instead of just suppressing the skin eruptions with any local application of creams.

Role of Hypnotherapy in Lichen Planus:

Hypnosis can also help individuals feel more comfortable about having their skin diseases. Hypnotic relaxation utilizing self-guided imagery reduces anxiety and discomfort during dermatologic procedures. For resistant skin disorders, hypnoanalysis using ideomotor signaling and the affect bridge technique can often identify original incidents and promote healing. Subtle energy intuitive techniques are an almost lost art that have so far been relatively difficult to explore on a scientific basis.