Lichen planus is an inflammatory condition triggered by the immune system which can affect skin, hair, nails, and mucous membranes ( mouth, vagina, etc). The exact cause of the immune system causing the condition is not known but it can occur after viral infection, allergen exposure, after stress or it could be due to family history as well. Sometimes lichen planus occurs along with other autoimmune diseases as well.
On skin lichen planus appears as purplish, flat-topped rashes which are often very itchy. In mucous membranes areas like the mouth and vagina, rashes appear as lacy white patches which are often sore. The condition is usually not serious unless it is painful with much itching. Lichen planus is not contagious.
As such there are no risk factors for the development of lichen planus as it can occur at any age and can affect anyone but women are twice more susceptible to developing lichen planus and middle-aged people are more likely to develop it.
It can be seen more in cases with viral infection (hepatitis C), those who have a history of allergen exposure (arsenic, gold, iodide compounds), due to stress, or with a family history of lichen planus, certain diuretics.
Lichen planus occurs when the immune system attacks the body cell so if you have any autoimmune disorder then you can develop lichen planus as well.
Lichen planus becomes troublesome when it involves much pain and itching. Sexual dysfunction occurs if lichen planus affects the vulva and vagina as the area becomes painful and sensitive. Sometimes lichen planus can leave scars as well.
Hyperpigmentation may occur in some cases once the scar disappears.
Lichen planus may increase the risk of the development of squamous cell carcinoma which is a type of skin cancer.
Depending on the area affected the presentation of lichen planus may vary:
Lichen planus occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks the skin or mucous membrane cells. The exact cause of this immune attack is not known but there could be some triggering factors like:
Conventional treatment includes relieving itching, pain, and all symptoms by using corticosteroids, immunosuppressants, antihistamines. The underlying cause should be treated (hepatitis c infection, allergic reaction, etc).
After a thorough case taking and analysis a homeopath can prescribe medicine that can get rid of lichen planus permanently. Medicines like sulphur, pulsatilla, natrum mur, tuberculinum, ars alb, etc can be used but only after constitutional study of the case.