April 14, 2011

What is Lichen Planus & It’s Home Remedies

Posted in Category : Common Ailments

If you are wondering what is lichen planus and have never heard of it, it is a rash which keeps recurring because of some inflammation like certain symptoms of lichen planus in mouth. The rash starts out in small bumps which are polygonal in shape and join together to form a scaly patch on the surface of the skin. The rash could also form in areas with mucous membranes like the vagina and also the mouth. The condition usually remains localized and resembles a flat moss like growth on trees. Unlike other rashes lichen planus is either violet or lilac in color.

If the rash is on the surface of the skin, the violet eruptions are usually found in the lower part of the back and the legs and on the forearms and inner wrists. Another rash of a similar kind is hypertrophic lichen planus which has a reddish brown color and is scaly with thick lesions. The rashes appear on the shins or any other part of the body and are very itchy.

Lichen planus is often found in areas with mucus membranes including the mouth. This rash appears before the rash on the body. Erosive lichen planus is a rare and more uncomfortable problem which causes painful but shallow ulcers in the mouth which keep recurring. These rashes could affect the vagina and though often confused with sexually transmitted diseases is not so and neither is it contagious. The nails can also get pitted with lichen planus.


Causes of lichen planus are not really known but it is thought to be brought on by an immune or allergic reaction. Some of the factors which are known to bring on similar symptoms are exposure to chemicals, dyes and medications like naproxen, propranolol, quninidine, gold, bismuth or arsenic. The virus hepatitis C is also known to cause these symptoms. Lichen planus is a problem which is found all over the world and more often in middle aged people.


The intensity of symptoms of lichen planus differs from one person to another. While some have more severe itching and other symptoms, others may have very mild ones. Lichen planus can start suddenly or sometimes gradually and the attacks may last for varied periods of time. Kids are most often not affected by this. In areas of the skin where lesions appear one would notice hyper pigmentation. If this problem happens on the scalp there could be a bald patch or alopecia in the area.

Home Remedies

Natural home remedies for lichen planus can reduce the severity of the symptoms. Using colloidal oatmeal in the bath tub and soaking in it several times during the day helps to relieve the itching of lichen planus. Cold compresses and ointments or creams which have hydrocortisone in them can be applied topically for relief from this symptom of itching. There are several over the counter medications available which will give relief to itching and reduce the inflammation. For oral lichen planus good oral hygiene will prevent repeated infection and symptoms which are related to it. Stress and anxiety as well as depression are known to bring on oral lichen planus and treating these symptoms would help the condition. It would be wise to get advice from an expert when affected by this condition.

Natural methods of treatment for lichen planus involve cleansing of the body and detoxifying it. Physical activity and exercise is one of the best forms of natural therapy for many disorders which have stress and anxiety at the root of it. Indulge in exercise without hurting yourself but you should sweat out the toxins and cleanse your system. Certain dietary changes are required to ensure that the digestive system is cleaned and this includes oral hygiene.