What is Lichen Planus?

Lichen Planus, an obstinate skin disorder 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.

It is a recurring, chronic, non-allergic, non-infectious, non-contagious disease of the skin, of which the exact cause is not yet fully understood. It has a tendency to relapse after some months or years. Females are more frequently affected as compared to the male counterpart, however, uncommon to find it in children. Over 1.9% of the total population is affected by Lichen Planus.

Signs and symptoms:

The typical appearance of the Lichen Planus eruption : 

Round or irregular shape, raised slightly above the skin level, brown or pinkies or black in color.

The typical textbook description goes : 

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).

Causes:

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. Contact with certain chemicals (paraphenylenediamine), drugs (Arsenic compounds, certain metals such as Gold, Bismuth, Quinacrine), exposure to light by photography development) etc.

2. Certain modern medicines such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pain killers (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 know to induce Lichen Planus:

  • NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)

  • Tetracycline

  • Captopril

  • Propranolol

  • Sulfonamide

  • Dapsone

  • Furosemide

  • Chloroquine

  • Penicillamine

  • Methyldopa

  • Enalapril

  • Allopurinol (anti-gout medicine)

Stress

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. It may be noted that this information is derived from the study at our center and may not be found in the standard dermatological text books.

Genetic
Hereditary tendency

Allergic component

The studies have indicated presence of certain cells, called as HLA A-3 cell markers, suggesting immunological and allergic links.

Variants:
Lichen Planus Hypertrophicus: It looks like a keloid or hypertrophied scar, often found on the ankles.

Lichen Planus Actinus:

Lichen Nitidus: Observed along with regular eruptions of LP, more on the light-exposed body parts.

Lichen Sclerosus et Atrophics: A rare condition affecting the vulva, male genitals. With tremendous itching, there is atrophy and scaring of the affected organ.

Lichen Planus Linearis: More closely aggregated eruptions, extending along the entire limb, seen in children.

Lichen Planus Annularis: Often affecting the genitals and scrotum.

Lichen Planus Follicularis: Observed in the hair bearing areas such as scalp, pubic region.

Lichen Planus Atrophicus

Bullous Lichen Planus: Bullous eruption and vesicles.

Lichen Planus Pigmentosus: As the name suggests, there is a kind of hyper-pigmentation which is grayish in color. Seen more in females in the western countries. Normal Any part of the body may get affected. However, it has a tendency to involve the skin of the lower limbs, legs and the mucous membrane of the mouth. The flexors of the legs, inner thighs, front of the wrists, and skin on the lower back are affected in many cases.

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 Diagnosis : It can be diagnosed clinically by experienced eyes. Sometimes the LP eruptions resemble other skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, candidiasis(in mouth), Leukoplakia (mouth), apthous ulcers (mouth). 

The final diagnosis may be done, less often indicated; though, with histopathological study with biopsy.

Lichen Planus Homeopathy treatment

Homeopathy offers research proven and highly effective treatment for Lichen Planus which has been scientifically documented. Contrary to the the conventional treatment, which is governed by the use of cortisone, homeopathic treatment is extremely amazingly curative, safe and longer lasting 

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 pattern, mindset, etc. The treatment plans thus designed is addressed towards correcting the immune system, in turn treating Lichen Planus from within. 

The duration of treatment: 
The total length of 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, etc.)

  • Previous medication (Extensive use o 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 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 relief.

  • It is absolutely harmless, safe and non-toxic.

Lichen Planus Conventional treatment                 

The treatment modality with the conventional medicine (allopathy) is broadly consisting of the use of steroids or cortisone in various forms. Local application with cream, subcutaneous injectible steroids or oral intake of cortisone or steroid mouthwash (in case of oral Lichen Planus) is usually administered depending on the indications. Sometimes certain antihistaminic agents are used to control itching. Depending on the indications, one of the following measures is applied, as per the modern medicine.

  • Corticosteroids

  • Symptomatic treatment for itching

  • Retinoids

  • PUVA

  • Dapsone

  • Cyclosporine

  • Surgery

It should be noted that the major and the prime line of treatment in conventional medicine are corticosteroids, which is more often a suppressive measure. 
Major concerns and adverse effects of Cortisone are as under:

  • Dependency

  • Rebound effects

  • Systemic side effects on various body organs

  • Suppressive effects on immune system