Lichen Planus is a chronic disease which affects the nails, skin, and mucous membranes. It is majorly characterized by swelling and irritation in the affected part. Generally, the purple-coloured bumps on the skin are the main symptom of Lichen Planus. While on the parts with mucous membrane like vagina, mouth. etc., it appears as white patches which are sometimes painful and itchy.
Nail damage and hair loss are also common symptoms. This disease is not at all contagious. They cannot be cured but can be kept in control with proper medication and treatment.
There are a lot of complications involved with lichen planus in private parts like penis, vagina, and vulva. They can lead to permanent sexual dysfunctions. On the other hand, oral one can led to eating problems. Some studies have suggested that oral lichen planus can even lead to mouth cancer.
The main reason behind Lichen Planus is the attack on your cells by your own immune system. The immune system of our body is for fighting against some foreign body like viruses but sometimes they start damaging your own cells. This process is also sometimes called a Lichenoid Reaction. The actual reason why the immune system attacks the cells is still unknown. Some of the details about lichen planus are mentioned below.
- Generally, people with hepatitis C infection are seen to suffer from this disorder. It is believed that it is also a part of infection by Hepatitis C virus.
- This disease is not hereditary. Although there is no existing proof for this fact. But common results have shown that there is no hereditary nature associated with the disease.
- It can occur due to some medication. Most of these medications are pain killers.
- Apart from pain killers, some medication related to high blood pressure, heart disease and arthritis are also estimated to be a reason behind this disease.
- There is also a link between some chemicals which are involved in photography and the occurrence of Lichen Planus.
- Some studies have pointed out there is a relation between the symptoms of Lichen Planus and mercury tooth fillings.
Lichen Planus symptoms vary depending on the condition. Symptoms include the following:
- When it appears on the skin, the rash appears suddenly and lasts for several months.
- The bumps are clumped or takes the pattern of raised, red, purple, shiny, or flat topped.
- In oral lichen planus, white streaks might appear on the inner wall of the cheeks.
- Mouth ulcers might develop and recur.
- The gums, lips and the tongue might also get affected.
As mentioned earlier also, Lichen Planus is incurable but some of the remedies for reducing its effect are mentioned below.
- Antihistamines are highly recommended by dermatologist for controlling itching
- In order to reduce redness and inflammation, steroid creams can be used
- If the symptoms are very severe, the steroids tablets are recommended over the cream.
- Corticosteroid tablets can help in treating mucous membrane Lichen Planus
- Ultraviolet (UV) phototherapy can be used to reduce the symptoms.
Considering the above mentioned complications it is highly recommended to consult an expert dermatologist or one of the top skin specialist.