Lichen planus is an inflammatory skin disorder, afflicting the skin, hair, nails and mucous membranes. It usually manifests as purple, flat-topped, itchy bumps, and may develop over 3 to 6 weeks.
Lichen planus develops when your body’s immune mechanism erroneously attacks the cells of the skin or mucous membranes. The precise cause for the condition is not yet known.
Certain triggers for lichen planus have been identified:
- Flu vaccine
- Hepatitis C
- Certain chemicals, pigments and metals.
- Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
- Certain drugs that are prescribed for arthritis and heart disorders.
Signs And Symptoms Of Lichen Planus
Signs and symptoms for lichen planus are:
- Purple, flat-topped, itchy bumps.
- Common sites for lichen planus – wrist, ankle, inner forearm, external genitals.
- Blisters may develop and form scabs.
- Lacy white patches in the mouth.
- Painful oral ulcers.
- Hair loss and scalp discoloration.
- Loss of nail.
Furthermore, there’s some data which states that lichen planus could raise your risk for skin cancer but the risk is small.
Natural Treatment For Lichen Planus
These guidelines will help you deal with the inflammation and itching that is associated with lichen planus and will help prevent recurrences too.
- Lichen planus tends to resolve on its own in about 1 to 2 years. If the disease afflicts only the skin, it responds better; however, in case the mucous membrane is involved, it tends to be more resistant to treatment.
- It is very vital that you meet your health care provider and dermatologist to understand your condition and line of treatment.
- Corticosteroids are usually the first preference for treatment to decrease the inflammation.
- Immune response drugs which suppress or alter the body’s immune response may be administered to you.
- Antihistamines help deal with the inflammation and itching effectively.
- Light therapy is beneficial in clearing up lichen planus affecting the skin. UVB light is employed that penetrates the epidermis of the skin and takes care of the inflammation.
- Retinoids are used successfully to manage lichen planus. Retinoids are artificial versions of vitamin A which may be applied to the skin or taken orally. Confer with your health care before embarking on the treatment.
- Talk to your physician and start vitamins A, C, and E supplements; these have been dubbed as the ‘skin vitamins’ and help deal with most skin ailments.
- Also, step up your intake of these foods – limes, lemons, guavas, tomatoes, grapes and bell peppers; these provide you with vitamins and minerals which nourish your skin.
- Aloe vera gel has been touted as an excellent natural remedy too. It is useful for treating lichen planus of the skin, mouth and vulva.
- Tub soaks with colloidal oatmeal followed by moisturizing lotion yields relief from the swelling, inflammation and itching.
- Cool compresses offer respite as well.
- For oral lichen planus, you must follow good oral hygiene and regular visits to the dentist are vital.
- Quit smoking; it is an important trigger. Do not drink alcohol and steer clear of spicy foods.