Lichen Planus Treatment

Before we see lichen planus treatment let us understand lichen planus first. It is an inflammatory condition of the skin and mucous membrane. On the skin, lichen planus appears as purplish, itchy, flat topped bumps. On mucous membranes, such as in the mouth, it forms lacy, white patches, sometimes with painful sores. Less commonly, the lesions can occur in other areas like:

  • Nails
  • Scalp

Symptoms of Lichen Planus

Lichen planus of the skin:

  • The rash appears abruptly and usually lasts for several months.
  • There are clumps or patterns of shiny, raised, red or purple, flat-topped bumps.
  • Papules are approximately 3 to 5 millimeters (mm) in diameter.
  • White lines may sometimes appear on the papules , called Wickham’s striae.
  • Intense itching may occur, especially at night.
  • Most affected areas are the wrists, elbows, ankles and lower back. However, other parts of the body may be affected. The shins can be affected by thickened lichen planus, while the armpits might have ring-shaped lichen planus.

Lichen Planus Oral

  • In lichen planus oral, White lacy streaks appear on the inside of the cheeks. The gums, tongue and lips may also be affected.
  • The streaks are not usually painful or itchy.
  • Possible redness and blistering of the gums.
  • Sore mouth ulcers can develop and recur.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Sense of taste may become blunted and some people experience a metallic taste.
  • Spicy, fried foods and tomato products can make symptoms worse.

Lichen Planus Oral Photos

Lichen Planus Oral
Lichen Planus Oral
Lichen Planus Oral
Lichen Planus Oral

Lichen Planus Oral Treatment

For Lichen Planus Oral, good oral hygiene is important. You can help reduce the pain of mouth sores by avoiding:

  • Smoking.
  • Drinking alcohol.
  • Consuming spicy or acidic food and drink.

Lichen planus of the penis:

  • Purple or white ring-shaped patches appear around the head of the penis.
  • They are not usually itchy.

Lichen planus of the vagina and vulva:

On the vulva, white streaks develop, similar to those that appear in the mouth. They are usually neither itchy nor painful. The skin may be red. Scar tissue may distort the shape of the vagina. Lichen planus can affect deeper areas within the vagina, causing desquamative vaginitis. Discharge can occur when the surface cells in the vagina peel off. The eroded vagina may easily bleed when touched. Sexual intercourse may become painful, difficult, or impossible.


Lichen planus follicaris:

This affects areas in which hair grows, such as the scalp. There may be redness and irritation. This type of lichen planus sometimes causes hair loss, which can be permanent. In extremely rare cases, lichen planus can occur in the anus, ear canal, eyelids and esophagus.

Causes

Lichen planus can occur in anyone at any age, but there are certain factors that make some people more likely to develop the condition. The skin form of lichen planus occurs in men and women equally, but women are twice as likely to get the oral form. It’s very rare in children and older adults. It’s most common in middle-aged people.

Some causes of lichen planus are thought to involve the following:


Medications:

Lichen planus can occur as a reaction to certain medicines, including:

  • Beta-blockers, which are common drugs used to treat cardiovascular problems.
  • Anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen.
  • Gold injections for the treatment of arthritis.
  • Antimalarials.
  • Thiazide diuretics.
  • Phenothiazines, a group of tranquilizing drugs with antipsychotic actions.
Lichen Planus Treatment
Before
Lichen Planus Treatment
After

Tooth fillings:

In the mouth, a metal filling like mercury may be the cause. This is rare, but it can happen. If this is the cause, replacing the metal filling with a non-metal filling will get rid of the lichen planus.


Grinspan’s syndrome:

Lichen planus can also be part of Grinspan’s syndrome, a syndrome characterized by hypertension, diabetes and oral lichen planus. This is thought to be due to the result of drugs used in hypertension and diabetes.


Hepatitis C virus:

There may be a link between lichen planus and infection with the many people with hepatitis C also have lichen planus.


GVHD:

Lichenoid eruptions can occur in people with graft-versus-host-disease who have received bone narrow transplants.


Other substances:

There is a link between contact with some chemicals used in color photographic development and certain kinds of dyes lichen planus.

Risk Factors

Lichen planus can affect humans of any age or race.

However, it is more common among:

  • Middle-aged adults.
  • Females, especially oral lichen planus.
  • Patients with liver diseases, such as hepatitis C or cirrhosis.

Lichen Planus Treatment

Most people can manage typical, mild cases of lichen planus at home, without medical care. If the condition causes pain or significant itching, you may need medications. Lichen planus isn’t contagious.

 

Lifestyle and home remedies (also see Lichen Planus treatment)

 

Self-care measures can help reduce the itching and discomfort caused by lichen planus.

 

These include:

  • Soaking in a bathtub with colloidal oatmeal (Aveeno, others), followed by a moisturizing lotion.
  • Applying cool compresses to the rash.
  • Avoiding scratching or injuring your skin.
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