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Lichen planus in Mouth

Definition of the illness:

Lichen Planus is a common skin disease. It may be called a skin disorder .Lichen Planus affects the mucous membranes in our body. As a result the part of the body affected by Lichen Planus get inflamed. Itching sensation occurs and this leaves skin lesions that have a distinct characteristic. Lichen Planus manifests in the mouth too. It appears like a rash or lesion, be it on the skin or the mouth. Itchy inflammatory patches are the distinctive features of this disease. It is hard to predict about the persistence of this affliction. It might endure for a few months or even one full year. Commonly Lichen Planus is found to afflict the same persons who also have other diseases like colitis or lichen sclerosis, which are diseases caused by an alteration in the body’s immunity.

Causes for Lichen planus

The cause of this illness is not definitely established. However, it has been by now quite surely proved that certain allergens trigger this Lichen Planus disease. Some external irritant might provoke an anti allergic reaction inside the body. Or, the body’s immune system might respond with some reactions to repel the allergens or the stimulus.. Lichen Planus thus is the result of body’s exposure to allergens. Thus it is termed as an insidious disease, something that works from inside. The offending allergens causing Lichen planus might include even medications, dyes and other chemicals. Even emotional stress could precipitate Lichen Planus. Again the emotional stress might be result of changes in the body’s immune system during great stress. Like many other skin diseases, its onset could be quick or gradual. It could be precipitated by any one of a group of syndromes including stress, infections like virus hepatitis C and immunology deficiency. Genetic factors also are cause for the Lichen Planus.

Some drugs have been found to cause Lichen Planus too; in such cases, the body makes a response to the drug and Lichen Planus is the allergic reaction; some examples are, drugs for high blood pressure, heart diseases and arthritis. In some cases, the Lichen Planus is inherited.

Lichen Planus first occurs as a shiny flat bump; it has an angular shape. Its color is reddish or purple. The inside of wrists and ankles, lower legs, back and neck are the usual spots where these patches occur.

In some cases, mouth, genitals hair and wrists are also affected.
But. Blisters are not so common in Lichen Planus.
Often it disappears on its own, and it is not necessary to treat it. but sometimes, itching in the affected spot is unceasing and also intense. At such times intervention becomes necessary.
It is the Men and women of between 30 to 70 years who form the risk groups.

CURE for the Lichen Planus

There is no proven or known cure. There can be palliatives for itching; through medication, the appearance of the rashes may be softened, and made less conspicuous. a. The manifestations and occurrence of Lichen planus differs from patient to patient. Each case is different.
Antihistamines may be prescribed for itch relief.

Because the treatment aims only at giving comfort from the persistent itch, baths, and application of wet dressing are recommended as smoothening agents; Menthol, Phenol and paroximine are anti itch ingredients. Lotions with these ingredients are also effective when applied on the rashes or lesions.

When healing, the Lichen Planus leaves behind a dark brown discolorisation. But this too eventually may fade. In rare cases a person may get a second attack of Lichen planus, after the first attack has been cured.

The Lichen Planus occurring in the mouth:

It most commonly manifests in the cheeks, gums and tongue. Oral Lichen planus is most difficult to treat. In its severe forms in the oral areas, lichen Planus causes painful sores and ulcers of the mouth. While the most common form of Lichen planus is on the skin, in many cases it is found to be an oral affliction too, and about a third of those with oral lichen have it on the skin coexistently.
There are certain misguiding symptoms. Yeast infection could present as Lichen Planus. This is why Biopsies and Blood tests become necessary for diagnosis.
If Lichen Planus is to be properly managed, alcohol and tobacco are to be avoided as they increase the risk

CLICK HERE TO SEE LARGER VIEWThe occurrence and ills of Lichen Planus

When Lichen Planus occurs on the nail, the nail roots and nail’s matrix get damaged; splitting, thinning and loss of nail are common when Lichen planus attacks the nails. When it affects the scalp, lichenopilaris, the organism related to this disease, causes inflammatory scars. These inflammations affect hair follicles. The result is, patches of hair loss. Lichenplanus affects the middle aged especially.

Treatment for Lichen planus

Oral steroids bring it under quick control. The morbidity rates are not too very high. There is no high risk of skin cancer developing out of Lichen planus, but lesions in the mouth particularly in men show a high incidence of malignant transformation and in women, carcinoma.

The prognosis for LP is good as most cases regress within 18 months. Some recur but this has not been more than in 2% of cases as one study shows.

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