What Triggers Lichen Planus?
An inflammatory condition affecting your skin is called lichen planus. Skin, mouth, nails, and genitals are some of the commonly affected body areas by this unpleasant skin condition. You may also suffer from the blisters in the oral cavity or deformity in the lichen planus affected nails due to this condition. And, there prevail certain factors which trigger the symptoms of lichen planus. So, if you are keen on learning how lichen planus affects various areas of the body and what exactly triggers this condition, keep reading to get the answers.
How Lichen Planus Affect Various Body Areas
1. Lichen Planus Affecting The Skin
Lichen planus on the skin appears as grey, brownish, reddish or purplish eruptions. Some of the common symptoms of lichen planus affecting the skin are listed below.
- Raised eruptions with thick or flat-topped appearance.
- Itching which can be severe or mild.
- Bleeding due to the severe scratching due to itching caused by the eruptions.
- Hyperpigmented discolored patches, which can be mild or extensive.
2. Oral Lichen Planus
Oral lichen planus presents as white, lacy streaks or patches within the gums, tongue or/and buccal mucosa. It causes a burning sensation in the mouth with extreme difficulty/irritation while eating spicy or hot food.
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3. Lichen Planus In Genitals
Lichen planus can also occur in the genital region, such as on the penis and vulva or vagina.
a. Lichen planus in penis appears as bumps or non-itchy rashes over the tip.
b.Lichen planus on vulva or vagina can cause:
* An increased vaginal discharge – usually sticky, heavy, and yellow.
* Redness, soreness, burning, and raw areas of the vulva and vagina.
* Bleeding and/or pain with intercourse.
4. Lichen Planopilaris
This type of lichen planus leads to patchy hair loss on the scalp. The hair loss resulting due to Lichen Planopilaris can be permanent and irreversible.
5. Lichen Planus Of Nails
Lichen planus affecting the nails causes the nails to become extremely brittle and prone to cracks and splits. In severe cases of lichen planus affecting the nails, the nail may get destroyed temporarily or permanently.
Lichen Planus has been found to be an autoimmune condition. The exact cause of this unpleasant skin condition is yet unknown to medical science, although certain triggers have been found to aggravate or spark the condition in certain individuals. So, let’s have a look at some triggers of this condition.
Let us go through some of the major triggers which cause lichen planus.
1. Genetic Causes
It has been commonly found that patients with lichen planus have a history of autoimmune diseases running in the family. Lichen Planus, eczema, cancer, psoriasis, and other autoimmune diseases present in the family can be suggestive of a genetic link.
Stress has a major impact on the development and aggravation of lichen planus. Excessive stress can lead to sudden aggravation or spread in the existing eruptions and may also be responsible for causing lichen planus for the first time. Intense and prolonged emotional stress can have a major impact on such patients.
Certain medications can cause lichen planus. The following medications, when taken repeatedly over a long time, can induce or trigger Lichen Planus.
- Certain modern medicines, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID), antihypertensive medicines, beta blockers, antimalarials, amalgamated dental filling, etc.
4. Chemical contact
Chemical contact with certain harmful chemicals too may trigger or aggravate lichen planus. Here are some chemicals and conditions which can trigger lichen planus.
- Chemicals like paraphenylenediamine
- Drugs, such as arsenic compounds
- Certain metals, such as Quinacrine, Gold, and Bismuth
- The exposure to light by photography development etc.
5. Certain Infections
Chronic Hepatitis C infection has been associated with lichen planus in some recent medical studies.
Treatment Options For Lichen Planus
A. Conventional Treatment
- Steroidal medications and applications, commonly cortisone, can help suppress the condition and offer temporary relief. Although such medications can worsen the condition and make it more difficult to treat it when you use it for a prolonged period of time. Usually, lichen planus relapses as soon as the steroids are stopped.
- Phototherapy with ultraviolet (UV) light can also be used to mitigate its symptoms.
B. Homeopathic Treatment
Homeopathy offers a gentle, natural, and safe treatment for lichen planus. The homeopathic treatment for Lichen Planus is based on the patient’s individual case details and the disease, its cause, the area affected, the spread of the condition, the patient’s mindset, the genetic tendency, etc. The treatment plans are designed accordingly and focused on correcting the immune system, in turn treating lichen planus from within.
Complications Of Lichen Planus
- Permanent hyperpigmentation of the skin is one of the complications of lichen planus.
- Oral Lichen planus may also lead to Oral cancer in a few cases.
Also Read: Oral Lichen Planus: Risk Factor for Oral Cancer
So, if anytime you happen to suffer from lichen planus, go for homeopathy as soon as possible without a second thought and receive an effective and safe homeopathic treatment to get relief from it.
-Written by Dr. Neethu, Associate doctor to Dr. Shah
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