Lichen Planus is an obstinate skin disorder has baffled not only the patients but also the practitioners equally. The cases of Lichen Planus have been observed all over the world, irrespective of the race, skin color and culture. The medical field today finds little help for this chronic disease. Fortunately, homeopathy, the fast growing alternative medicine has a definite, promising treatment for Lichen Planus.
Lichen-Planus is commonly misspelled as lichen planu, liche planus, licchen planus, daad, liken planus.
It is a long standing (chronic), recurring, non-allergic, non-infectious, non-contagious disease of the skin, of which the exact cause is not yet fully understood.
It can affect skin, oral mucosa, tongue, scalp, genitals and nails. However, it is less likely that it affects all the areas as stated, at the same time. It has a tendency to relapse after some months or years. Females are more frequently affected as compared to the male counterpart, however, uncommon to find it in children. Over 1.9% of the total population is affected by Lichen Planus.
The typical appearance of the Lichen Planus eruption is round or irregular shape, raised slightly above the skin level, brown or pinkish or black in color.
Lichen Planus largely affects skin. It may also affect mouth (gums, tongue, palate) (oral Lichen Planus), the scalp, nails, or the genitals (glans, penis). It could affect one or more of the said body parts. It is not a rule that every patient with Lichen Planus will have all the said areas affected. In males it could affect the glans of penis and in females the vulva or vagina.
It can be said that more areas affected, more difficult to treat. Also, experience says that the oral or genital Lichen Planus is more difficult to treat as compared to that on the skin. Also, Lichen planus affecting the scalp when leads to scarring, may lead to permanent hair loss; which is difficult to treat.
Some of the latest studies have shown a co-association of Lichen Planus with a rare variety of Hepatitis-C. It may be noted that the exact connection and causative link has not been established between the two entities. It may be noted that patients with Hepatitis C have some proneness to develop Lichen Planus; the reverse is not true.
Lichen Planus is found to be an immunologically mediated disease. The exact cause of Lichen Planus is not very clearly understood. Some triggers have been found which are clinically found to be responsible for Lichen Planus. It is one of those conditions where the exact cause remains unknown till the date. There are theories. In some cases, there are obvious links with the facts such as
Certain modern medicines such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pain-killers (NSAID), antihypertensive medicines, amalgamated dental filling, etc are known to induce Lichen Planus, which has a tendency to persist despite the discontinuation of the said medicines.
It may be of interest to list the common modern medicines which are known to induce Lichen Planus:
Contact with certain chemicals (paraphenylenediamine), drugs (Arsenic compounds, certain metals such as Gold, Bismuth, Quinacrine), exposure to light by photography development) etc. may trigger Lichen Planus in some individuals.
In an uncommon case at Sai Homeopathy, we observed certain metals like copper and nickel trigger Lichen Planus in a case. We observed a female patient whose Lichen Planus was triggered by the use of copper T (Intrauterine contraceptive device). Further study and evaluation is called for to establish the connection between copper, nickel and Lichen Planus.
In our in-depth studies, we have observed that certain intense and prolonged emotional stress such as anxiety, shock, traumatic childhood, sadness; disappointment, failure, humiliation, etc. often initiate the process of Lichen Planus. Intense stress is likely to trigger some immunological processes which lead to the development of Lichen Planus. The exact mechanism is not yet understood. Stress has been found to be an important trigger in many cases, but not all.