What is Lichen Planus?
Lichen Planus is an obstinate skin disorder which has baffled not only the patients but also the practitioners equally. The cases of Lichen Planus have been observed all over the world, irrespective of the race, skin color and culture. The medical field today finds little help for this chronic disease. Fortunately, homeopathy, the fast-growing alternative medicine has a definite, promising treatment for Lichen Planus.
Lichen Planus is commonly misspelled as lichen planu, liche planus, licchen planus, liken planus. Lichen Planus is called as Daad in Hindi and Gajkarna in Marathi.
It is a long-standing (chronic), recurring, non-allergic, non-infectious, non-contagious disease of the skin, of which the exact cause is not yet fully understood.
It can affect the skin, mouth (inner cheeks, gums, palate), tongue, scalp, genitals, and nails. However, it is less likely that it affects all the areas as stated, at the same time. Very feew patients may have all the parts as above affected with Lichen Planus. It has a tendency to relapse after some months or years. Females are more frequently affected as compared to the male counterpart, however, it is not very uncommon to find it in children. Over 1.9% of the total population is affected by Lichen Planus.
Please examine this photo to check the typical skin lesions of Lichen Planus. The photos can be clicked to enlarge to have a better view.
Signs and symptoms:
The typical appearance of the Lichen Planus eruption is round or irregular shape, raised slightly above the skin level, brown, purple or pinkish or black in color.
Commonly Affected Parts in Lichen Planus
Lichen Planus largely affects the skin. It may also affect mouth (gums, tongue, palate) (oral Lichen Planus), the scalp, nails, or the genitals (glans, penis, vulva, vagina). It could affect one or more of the said body parts. It is not a rule that every patient with Lichen Planus will have all the said areas affected. In males, it could affect the glans of the penis and in females the vulva or vagina. It can be said that more areas affected, more difficult to treat. Also, experience says that the oral or genital Lichen Planus is more difficult to treat as compared to that on the skin. Also, Lichen planus affecting the scalp when leads to scarring, may lead to permanent hair loss; which is difficult to treat.
Lichen Planus and Hepatitis C
Some of the latest studies have shown a co-association of Lichen Planus with a rare variety of Hepatitis-C. It may be noted that the exact connection and causative link has not been established between the two entities. It may be noted that patients with Hepatitis C have some proneness to develop Lichen Planus; the reverse is not true.
The typical textbook description
Flat-topped shiny polygonal eruptions. Small in size, thickened eruptions, rough and/or oily to touch, dirty look at times. You may find spots either in groups, a few or numerous in number and very often bilateral symmetrical (on both the side of the body, say legs).
Clinically, a peculiar appearance classically described as Wickham's striae is considered diagnostic of Lichen Planus.
(Please see the picture )
Under the microscope: It is of less importance to the patients to know how Lichen Planus tissues look when seen under the microscope. Following is the microscopic (histopathological) view of it.
At times, one also observes the Lichen Planus eruptions appearing along the line of a scratch mark, called Koebner's phenomenon. It has an affinity for the genitals are involved. In males, the glans; while in females the vulva may be affected.
The nails, when affected, tend to become deformed. In short, Lichen Planus affecting the skin, mouth (Oral Lichen Planus) and vaginal LP are some of the most common variants. When the oral mucosa or the genitals are affected, this condition is often neglected, reported late or incorrectly diagnosed. Lichen Planus affecting the food pipe (esophagus) is not a commonly encountered condition. However, some cases have been reported at some institutes.
All variants of Lichen Planus respond very well to homeopathic treatment. It can be said with confidence that Lichen Planus is curable using homeopathy. Homeopathy offers excellent results in Lichen Planus of the skin, mouth, and genitals; in this order.
Causes of Lichen Planus
Lichen Planus is found to be an immunologically mediated disease. The exact cause of Lichen Planus is not very clearly understood. Some triggers have been found which are clinically found to be responsible for Lichen Planus. It is one of those conditions where the exact cause remains unknown till the date. There are theories.
In some cases, there are obvious links with the facts such as
1. Drug induced Lichen Planus
Certain modern medicines such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory painkillers (NSAID), antihypertensive medicines, amalgamated dental filling, etc. are known to induce Lichen Planus, which has a tendency to persist despite the discontinuation of the said medicines.
It may be of interest to list the common modern medicines which are known to induce Lichen Planus:
NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
Allopurinol (anti-gout medicine)
Contact with certain chemicals (paraphenylenediamine), drugs (Arsenic compounds, certain metals such as Gold, Bismuth, Quinacrine), exposure to light by photography development) etc.
3. Stress Leads to Lichen Planus
In our in-depth studies, we have observed that certain intense and prolonged emotional stress such as anxiety, shock, traumatic childhood, sadness; disappointment, failure, humiliation, etc. often initiate the process of Lichen Planus. Intense stress is likely to trigger some immunological processes which lead to the development of Lichen Planus. The exact mechanism is not yet understood. Stress has been found to be an important trigger in many cases, but not all.
It may be noted that this information is derived from the study at our center and may not be found in the standard dermatological textbooks.
Hereditary tendency. We have observed Lichen Planus running in family. However, it is not a rule that if you have Lichen Planus, your children will necessarily have it. Also, it is not a rule that every patient having Lichen Planus must have their parents or relatives the same disease. It is observed that there is some autoimmune disease such as Lichen Planus, eczema, cancer, psoriasis, etc. in the family, suggestive of a genetic link.
The studies have indicated the presence of certain cells, called as HLA A-3 cell markers, suggesting immunological and allergic links. This requires being explored further.
Lichen Planus Symptoms
Lichen Planus symptoms may appear on skin, nails, mouth, scalp or genitals in one or more of the following ways.
Round, irregular, thickened, flat-topped, dark skin lesions
Pink, gray, brown or reddish eruptions, raised above skin level, with roughness and mild scaling in some cases.
Slow, gradual onset
Rough, oily look of lesions
Intense itching or no itching
New lesions of Lichen planus come up in areas where the skin is scratched or injured. This is called as Koebner’s phenomenon
Bleeding may be present on scratching
Oral Lichen planus presents as white streaks on the mucosa of mouth, tongue, and gums. There may be ulcers in the oral mucosa, any part of the mouth. The ulceration can be mild or extensive.
Genital Lichen planus shows white streaks or ulcers on vulva, vagina, prepuce or shaft of the penis. (Photo of male genital will open in new window.) Genital Lichen planus in both sexes can be painful.
Lichen Planus of nails may present with ridged, deformed nails
Burning in mouth while eating spicy food
Homeopathy Treatment for Lichen Planus
The Homeopathy Treatment
The homeopathic treatment for Lichen Planus is based on the individual case study of the patient's disease, its cause, its spread, the area affected, the genetic tendency, mindset, etc. The treatment plans thus designed is addressed towards correcting the immune system, in turn treating Lichen Planus from within.
Dr Rajesh Shah, MD, has researched on Lichen Planus for over 27 years. His research based molecules have US, Europe patent granted as (and pending). His unique treatment protocol is made available to patients of Lichen Planus world over. At this point (May 2019), there are patients from 180 countries under Dr Shah's care, which has been a world record. Successful Lichen Planus treatment is now possible.
The duration of treatment:
The total length of Lichen Planus treatment varies form case to case, depending of the following factors:
Duration of Lichen Planus
Areas affected (Skin, mouth, genitals, nails, scalp)
Extent of spread (Only skin or only mouth or skin with mouth, combination of parts, etc)
Previous medication (Extensive use of oral cortisone may delay the course of treatment)
General health and associated diseases
One may expect a definite change in about three to five months, depending on the extent. The total length of medication may be anything between six months to two years or longer.
Why homeopathy for Lichen Planus?
The major benefits of homeopathy for Lichen Planus treatment could be summarized as under:
It offers excellent treatment which has a success rate of over 85%
It offers immuno-correction hence gives deep-level healing.
It offers long-lasting cure instead of temporary.
It is absolutely harmless, safe and free from any toxic effect.
5 Diet Tips to Follow When Suffering From Lichen Planus:
While following homeopathic Lichen Planus treatment, you also need to follow the right diet to get quick and effective relief from the condition. Find below some diet tips to follow when suffering from Lichen Planus
1. Add Vitamin B Rich Foods To Diet:
Vitamin B is extremely beneficial for your skin, particularly when you are suffering from Lichen Planus. So, add vitamin B rich foods to your diet when following Lichen Planus treatment. Have sesame seeds, green vegetables, whole grain, and pulses.
2. Include Vitamin A In Diet:
Vitamin A is highly effective in maintaining good health of your skin. So, you need to add foods rich in vitamin A in your regular diet when suffering from Lichen Planus. Make sure you eat carrots, vegetables, sweet potato, kale, spinach, fortified foods, and cereals as they are good sources of vitamin A. Also, cod liver oil supplements can provide you necessary amounts of vitamin A and vitamin D to improve your skin condition.
Green tea is an excellent source of antioxidants. So, drinking green tea regularly when you are down with Lichen Planus can help you combat the condition and discomfort.
4. Keep Your Body Hydrated:
To ensure good health of skin when suffering from Lichen Planus, you need to drink plenty of water. So, make sure you drink at least eight to ten glasses of water every day to keep your body hydrated.
5. Eat Immunity Boosting Foods:
Make sure you add onions, turmeric, fenugreek, basil, garlic, and other immunity boosting foods to your regular diet when following Lichen Planus treatment to enhance your immunity and get quick results. Also, eating foods rich in folic acid, such as green vegetables, prevents your skin from turning dry. Consuming walnuts, olive oil, corn, and flaxseeds also promotes good health of your skin as they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
Foods to Avoid When Suffering From Lichen Planus:
Some of the foods that you need to avoid when having Lichen Planus treatment are as follows:
Avoid eating refined foods, foods containing preservatives, artificial food products, and foods containing excess of sugar and salt.
Stay away from foods that may make you suffer from allergic reaction, such as eggs, various soy products, hazel nuts, and peanuts.
Do not have caffeinated drinks, such as coffee, colas, and soft drinks comprising caffeine.
Do not go for acidic and sour foods, spicy foods, refined flours, crispy foods, tamarind, and vinegar.
5 Health Tips to Follow To Alleviate Lichen Planus Discomfort:
You need to follow certain self-healthcare measures when following Lichen Planus treatment to minimize your discomfort. Some of the prominent health tips to follow to mitigate Lichen Planus are as below:
Soaking your affected skin in tub for some time can help reduce the discomfort. Add colloidal oatmeal, which is rich in nutrients to the water in your tub, and soak your affected body in the tub. Later, moisturize the affected area properly.
Cool compresses can help a lot in reducing itching, swelling, and other discomfort resulting due to Lichen Planus. So, you can apply ice packs on the affected skin areas of your body when having Lichen Planus treatment to minimize the discomfort.
The inflammatory skin condition resulting due to Lichen Planus may tempt you to scratch your skin. However, you need to strictly avoid scratching your skin as scratching will only aggravate the condition.
Smoking may trigger the inflammatory skin condition of Lichen Planus and cause discomfort. So, you need to quit smoking when following Lichen Planus treatment to get complete relief from the condition. Also, avoid drinking alcohol.
If Lichen Planus affects your mouth, you need to follow proper oral care. Stick to soft and bland foods to avoid aggravation of lesions. Eat mashed potatoes, soft eggs, and porridge. Use non-irritating, mild toothpaste. Also, make sure you use mouthwash that does not contain alcohol. Make efforts to maintain your mouth as clean as possible.