Lichen Planus is a chronic skin disorder that generally affects the oral (tongue, mouth etc), general skin (often only wrists or ankles), and genital areas, but in some rare cases may extend to oesophageal areas as well. Lichen Planus normally does not appear early in life but may affect people over the age of 40 or 50 and is more prevalent in women over men at a ratio of 3:2.
The Lesions in Lichen Planus are normally:
- itchy (Pruritic,)
- normally flat, (planar)
- often purple or brown -coloured (in the latter stages)
- multi-sided (polygonal)
- sometimes raised centres up to 1cm high (papules) or ,
- solid thickened skin lesions greater than 1cm (plaques).
The Reticular form is the most common which presents as white lacy-streaks on the tongue or other oral areas, which often turn into ulcers. When the ulcers break they often look like Squamous cell carcinoma, but are not!
The bullous form appears as fluid-filled vesicles (small raised skin with fluid inside). The Erosive form appears as red ulcers that are extremely uncomfortable.
Lichen Planus is not contagious and is not believed to be activated by a pathogen, but the rash seems to be commonly generated by allergic reactions to medicines such as those used to treat high blood pressure, heart disease and arthritis.
Additionally many people with Hepatitis C conditions, and people with some other diseases (such as Grinspan’s Syndrome) may experience Lichen Planus, but on the whole, oxidative and emotional stress seems to be a major stimulator to Lichen Planus onset in most people, although there is some evidence that leaking amalgam fillings may also produce an episode.
Lichen Planus of the general skin areas is relatively much more easily treated than when it affects the genitals, oral or oesophageal areas, which are far more resistant to treatment. Although people suffering from Lichen Planus may be subject to repeated episodes of the condition over many years, often the episode, whether treated or untreated, may last anywhere from a few short weeks or a few months right up to around 18 months to 2 years.
Lichen Planus in the genital areas often is mis-diagnosed as Atopic Dermatitis or Psoriasis, although there are sometimes both conditions co-existing, and sometimes an additional affliction of a fungal condition may also co-exist; which may make diagnosis and also treatment more difficult.
Although Lichen Planus is incurable, there are various treatment methods used by conventional medicine which involve the use of steroids, other anti-inflammatories, oral retinoids and immune-suppressants. Use of these medicines may suppress the condition and send it into a dormant state for a short or longer period of time, only to reappear another day.
Our means of treating Lichen Planus symptoms is to directly treat the affected areas topically using our various ointments ( does not apply to inside the mouth or oral mucosa) – and by assessing, and then addressing the Triggers of the condition, whether they be related to other diseases, lifestyle factors, dietary inadequacies or stress.
We also use oral naturally-based medicines which assist to promote good health and also target dietary inadequacies that are instrumental in promoting the incidence of Lichen Planus and many other skin conditions.
Although results are not always typical and may vary from person to person due to variabilities in skin conditions and other factors relating to individual patients, often we find that patients will go into a long-term remission state through our treatment process which is aimed at promoting better overall health and breaking the Lichen Planus repeating cycle.