August 6, 2010

Cures For Lichen Planus

Posted in Category : Natural Cures

Lichen planus can be described as an inflammatory disorder that affects your mucus membranes and skin. When this condition affects your skin it appears in the form of purplish and flat-topped bumps, which can be very itchy at times. On the mucus membranes like the vagina or mouth, the inflammation is characterized by sores or lacy-white patches that are quite painful.

Lichen planus occurs when your immune system attacks the healthy cells on your skin and mucus membranes. While anybody can develop this skin disorder, it is more commonly seen in middle-aged people. Lichen planus is not contagious, which means that it cannot be passed on from one person to another through personal contact.

There are no cures for this disorder, but it can be controlled with the help of simple and natural remedies. Though lichen planus is not very serious, is should be treated by a doctor without any delay. Left unchecked, this condition may increase risks of specific types of cancer, such as oral cancer, vulvo-vaginal cancer, penile carcinoma and squamous cell cancer.


The exact causes for lichen planus are still not clear but health experts believe that this disorder may be related to allergic or immune reactions. Some of the factors that may be responsible for triggering off this condition include:

  • Hepatitis C
  • Getting vaccinated for certain types of flu or Hepatitis B
  • Allergens
  • Tattoo ink
  • Use of NSAIDS (like ibuprofen and naproxen)
  • Medication for arthritis, high blood pressure and heart problems
  • Exposure to dyes or chemical substances


Lichen planus symptoms may vary depending upon the body part it affects. When the lesions appear on the skin, they are generally located on the legs, torso, genitals, back, neck or inner wrist. They have sharp borders and are also usually:

  • Itchy
  • Between 2 cm and 4 cm in size
  • Covered with scratch marks or white streaks (sometimes)
  • Flat and symmetrical
  • Purplish in color
  • Shiny or scaly

In some cases, the skin lesions further develop into blisters or ulcers. Your skin may have some dark brownish discoloration for a while even after the lesions disappear.

In case of oral lichen planus, you will develop tender and painful lesions in the mouth instead of the skin. They are often located on the inside of your cheeks or along the sides of your tongue. At times, the lesions may also appear on the gums.

In addition to the lesions, you may experience other signs and symptoms of lichen planus, which include:

  • Hair loss
  • Metallic taste in the mouth
  • Mouth dryness
  • Nail abnormalities like ridges on the surface

Since lichen planus is a long-term disorder, its symptoms may last for months, or even years, without getting any worse.


Lichen planus can last for anywhere between a couple of months and several years. This disorder can get cured without any medical intervention but it is necessary to undergo treatment, to promote skin healing. The traditional treatment of lichen planus usually includes:

  • Antihistamines (oral or topical)
  • Corticosteroids (topical, oral or injections)
  • Non-steroidal ointments and creams like pimecrolimus or tacrolimus
  • Phototherapy or light therapy
  • Retinoids (topical or oral)
  • Ultraviolet B Light

Very often, the treatment for this disorder is aimed at controlling the causes and triggers. In addition to medication, there are a few self-care steps that can help relieve the uncomfortable symptoms of lichen planus, which include:

  • Soaking in an oatmeal bath for about 10 to 15 minutes each day
  • Applying a cool compress over the affected parts of the skin
  • Following a diet that contains high amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Adding cod liver oil or vitamin supplements to a diet

You could also try a few natural remedies for treating the discomfort caused by the condition, such as:

  • Tea tree oil
  • Aloe vera gel
  • Lavender oil

There is no clinical evidence to prove that these home and natural remedies are effective in managing lichen planus. It is therefore important to check with a doctor before trying any of them.