Skip to main content

What causes lichen planus skin disease?

Posted by
 Dr Batra’s™  July 7, 2020

A 49-year-old woman, Smita visited an oral health clinic. Two years ago, she developed a condition called lichen planus. The entire inside of her mouth was inflamed and swollen - gums, tongue, inside of her cheeks, all of it. She could not brush her teeth or eat anything except the blandest of foods. She also had a metallic taste in her mouth. It was a torture for her. Not surprisingly, she was losing weight too.

After diagnosing the condition, her dentist sent her to an oral pathologist. The pathologist said there was no cure that he could guarantee and gave her two prescription drugs. Nothing helped.

Later on, she developed skin, genital, and eye sores. What's more, she was having a little trouble breathing. Concluding that no one can help her with the disease, she started searching on the internet about the disorder.

Based on the research she has done for lichen planus on the web, she was shocked over finding the ‘cause of lichen planus’ that it can occur as a reaction to certain medicines also. She was having a doubt on the medicines prescribed by the doctors of spreading the lichen planus spots to her body parts from the oral cavity.

While many people believe that it is an autoimmune disorder, this may or may not be the cause for lichen planus. There are different theories which exist on what can trigger lichen planus symptoms in an individual.

Some of the commonly cited lichen planus causes are:

  • Genetic predisposition.
  • Physical and emotional stress.
  • A type of inflammation develops in the skin, which causes the rash. However, the cause of the inflammation is not known. One theory is that the immune system may be triggered by a virus or other factor in the environment to attack cells in the skin, which leads to the inflammation.
  • Lichen planus rash may occur as a rare side-effect to some medicines. This is called a lichenoid drug eruption. For example: antimalarials, beta-blockers, anti-inflammatory medicines, thiazide diuretics and gold injections.
  • Lichen planus in the mouth is sometimes due to an allergy to mercury fillings in teeth.
  • A similar rash occasionally develops after contact with certain chemicals used in colour photographic developing.

Lichen planus symptoms vary depending on the site of the condition. The first attack can continue for weeks, and even months, while recurrences can go on for years - recurrences are more common in cases of oral lichen planus.

When symptoms are gone, there may be dark brown or gray spots on the skin, which are more noticeable if the patient has dark skin. Therefore, it is difficult to hide the spots and requires treatment which can completely cure the disorder.

Lichen Planus Treatment

Modern medicine finds little help for lichen planus skin disease. Conventional treatment makes use of antihistaminics, aapsone, topical and systemic steroids but long-term usage of these tends to cause side-effects, renal and hepatic being the commonest.

Fortunately, homeopathy, the fast growing alternative medicine, has a promising treatment for Lichen Planus. Since homeopathy targets the psycho-somatic nature of this disorder, it cures not only the body but also the mind, thus giving lasting results.

In a study conducted by Department of Oral Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Ignatia, a homeopathic medicine was found to be effective in the management of Oral Lichen Planus (OLP) as compared to placebo. Thus, it has been clinically proved that homeopathic medicines for lichen planus are definitely effective. Additionally, lichen planus homeopathy treatment prevents future relapses of the disease and it doesn’t have any side-effects.