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Lichen Planus: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

What is the treatment?

Lichen Planus is a type of a rash that occurs on your skin and is commonly caused due to a deficiency in your autoimmune system. The actual cause for this disease to occur is unknown, however, there are a ton of known treatments that doctors can recommend for you. Lichen Planus can occur anywhere in the body, though it often occurs on the ankles, wrists, joints, and genital tissues. This disease usually clears up on its own within a few weeks or months, though you can turn to medical treatments to speed up the process of getting rid of it. There are many different treatments to choose from and your doctor will recommend one on the basis of your medical history. You won’t really need additional treatment for very mild versions of this disease as it clears up on its own however, since it causes itching, burning, and general discomfort, seeking treatment can help you gain relief. Some of the commonly used treatments types include antihistamines (which can help reduce inflammation and work very well if your rash has occurred due to an allergen), retinoids (which provide vitamin A and can either be applied topically or taken orally), corticosteroids, nonsteroidal creams, and even light therapy. You may be given one form of treatment or multiple forms, depending on what works on you and what doesn’t. Sometimes, finding the ideal and most effective treatment for your body can be a bit of a hit and miss procedure so you must be patient while your doctor recommends different treatments.

How is the treatment done?

Your doctor will run a series of tests to first diagnose lichen planus. Some of these tests include biopsies (during which your doctor will extract a piece of tissue from the infected areas on your body and have a look under a microscope to determine what is wrong), a test for hepatitis C (as lichen planus is often related to hepatitis C, this test will be performed to determine whether you have this disease), and finally a few allergy tests (sometimes, lichen planus is triggered by allergies and you may have to find out what you are allergic to so that you can avoid it in the future). Once lichen planus is diagnosed, you will be given the appropriate treatment. If you have been prescribed retinoids, you will have to apply the cream topically or ingest a pill. If you have been given corticosteroids or nonsteroidal creams, you will have to apply them on your rashes as many times as you have been asked to. Corticosteroids are also available in the form of a pill and can be ingested. Light therapy involves the flashing of certain types of light at a certain frequency to get rid of the rash. Since Lichen Planus is a known disease with a known cure, one of the treatments is bound to work and therefore, it is important not to lose heart if you have already tried a few treatments and are not seeing any results. Immune reactive drugs are also often a part of the treatment and can be taken orally.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

Any person who has been diagnosed with Lichen Planus is eligible to get the treatment. Usually, the treatment follows a specific order so you will first be eligible only for the corticosteroids, then light treatment if that doesn’t work, then retinoids, and so on. Your doctor can recommend the right order of the treatments on the basis of your medical history.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

Any person who is not suffering from lichen planus is not eligible for the treatment. If you have a random rash that itches or burns, it does not mean that the treatments mentioned above will provide you with any relief. Using the wrong treatment can often aggravate your symptoms or cause more problems.

Are there any side effects?

Some of the treatments mentioned above come with their own list of side effects. For instance, using corticosteroids can make your skin thinner in the areas where it is applied, skin irritations, an upset stomach or oral thrush. Similarly, the side effects of using light therapy is getting a sun burn. It also has a long term risk of getting skin cancer and cataracts. The side effects of using retinoids include birth defects, which is why pregnant women should strictly stay away from them. Breastfeeding women should also avoid using retinoids. If you have any allergies, it is better to let your doctor know immediately so that he or she can prescribe the right treatments accordingly.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

Since the actual cause of lichen planus is unknown, there are no specific post treatment guidelines regarding your lifestyle that can help prevent the reoccurrence of this disease. If you have oral lichen planus, however, you will be ask to make certain changes like avoiding spicy food, smoking and drinking alcohol as they all function as mild irritants and can lead to a rash or the reoccurrence of the disease. For people for whom the disease is caused due to an allergy, the only post treatment guideline is to stay away from the items that lead to the allergic reactions. Having said that, all patients are different and based on your medical history, your doctor may suggest some additional guidelines pertaining to your body. Always follow post treatment guidelines with care.

How long does it take to recover?

When lichen planus is left on its own, it can resolve itself in a matter of weeks or even months. It goes away as randomly as it occurs. However, if you are seeking additional treatment, then the recovery time depends on the treatment that you are using. On an average, however, it can take up to 2-3 weeks for the condition to disappear completely. This does not include the time it takes to find the treatment type that is the most effective for you.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

Most over the counter creams and ointments in India cost between Rs 150 – Rs 300, depending on the ointment, brand, and the strength of dosage. Pills, on the other hand, cost anywhere between Rs 50- Rs 150, again depending on the brand and the strength of the dosage.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

The results of the treatment are usually permanent. The only case in which they are not permanent is if they are related to allergies, in which case you must always take care to avoid triggering the disease once more with the allergen.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

There are many alternative treatments as well as home remedies that can be considered to treat this disease. You must take care of yourself at home in order to gain some relief from the symptoms of lichens planus like itching and burning. Soaking in a hot tub usually helps. As an additional (and optional) step, you can always add an essential oil that is known for its anti-inflammatory properties to the bath to further reduce the inflammation and itching on your skin. Lavender essential oil is a good option for this. You can also indulge in soaking in the tub along with oat meal as it can help subside the itching. Once the bath is over, applying a lotion to your skin, particularly lotions that contain aloe vera, can help with the symptoms of Lichens planus. Often, cool compresses also help with the itching and inflammation. Using over the counter hydrocortisone cream (which has at least 1% of hydrocortisone in it) can also help with the rash. Finally, you can also avoid scratching the rashes as this can prevent it from spreading further, thereby preventing more pain and itching.

Safety: High Effectiveness: High Timeliness: Medium Relative Risk: Low Side Effects: Medium Time For Recovery: Medium Price Range: Rs. 150 - Rs. 300

Popular Health Tips

Lichen Planus - Signs And Symptoms You Might Be Suffering From It!

MD - Dermatology, MBBS
Dermatologist, Delhi
Lichen Planus - Signs And Symptoms You Might Be Suffering From It!

The skin is the most exposed organ to irritants, and when the body recognizes something as foreign, the immune system kicks into action. It produces what is known as antibodies against the foreign bodies (antigens). However, in many situations, the body produces antibodies against its own cells or tissue or components, causing an autoimmune reaction. One such autoimmune reaction is lichen planus, which is a skin rash caused when the body produces antibodies against its own skin or mucous membranes.

Risk factors: While anyone with a weak immune system can develop lichen planus, the followings increase the chances of that happening:

  1. Presence of other autoimmune disorders
  2. Hyperactive immune system, causing the allergic reaction
  3. Genetic inheritance
  4. Increased stress levels
  5. Prior history of viral infections
  6. Middle aged women
  7. Exposure to allergens like gold, arsenic, iodine, and drugs like diuretics and antibiotics
  8. Prior history of hepatitis C

Symptoms: Diagnosis of lichen planus is quite easy, as it has a characteristic appearance.

  1. Basically, a skin rash that is purple in color with flat tops on the skin
  2. Rashes spread over the body in a matter of weeks
  3. They are itchy, painful, and produce a burning sensation
  4. Could have blisters which burst
  5. Have thin lacy margin
  6. Can be seen in the genital area, scalp, ankle, hands, mucous membranes, and nails

If required, a biopsy can be done in some cases to confirm the diagnosis. Allergy testing can also be done to confirm hyperactive immune system.

Treatments: This can depend on the severity of the condition. In people where it is not progressive or inflamed, it could be observed to run its natural course and subside.

For those requiring symptomatic treatment, the following can be used:

  1. Steroids (topical or oral) to reduce inflammation
  2. Antihistamines to reduce the allergic response
  3. Retinoids (topical or oral) which can help overall skin health
  4. Nonsteroidal creams to clear up the rash
  5. Moisturizer to keep skin healthy and prevent dryness and itching
  6. Cool compresses on the rashes
  7. Loose clothing to prevent irritation and itching
  8. Anti-itch creams and powders and lotions
  9. Oatmeal bath to avoid itching and inflammation
  10. Ultraviolet radiation to the rash to reduce severity
  11. Avoid agents (drugs or chemicals) which can cause lichen planus
  12. If the lesions are in the mouth, mouthwash and/or rinse can be used for topical relief

Lichen planus often does not require any treatment. However, depending on each individual, it may require topical and/or systemic treatment to manage the symptoms. It usually runs its course over 6 to 10 weeks and subsides on its own. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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Popular Questions & Answers

I'm 24 years of old woman. It's been 2 years I'm suffering from Lichen Planus pigmentosa n my face and neck. Dark brown irregular shaped patches. Now I'm taking some tablets and ointments 1. Antoxid HC tablet - Daily twice 2. VIT E Tablets - Daily twice 3.Vit A Tablets - Daily twice 4.Desowen Desonide cream- Night time, applying only n dark patches. 5.Elovera Gel-Morning time, all over face and neck I have started this treatment an year ago, but after that the patches started fading. But if I got stressed, after sometime the dark patches will become even more darker. I'm having these tables under doctor's advice. Can you pls help me out about this?

Diploma In Psychology Counselling Skills, Diploma in ayurveda, B.S IT
Psychologist, Bangalore
Hi Friend, Thanks for reaching out here for help. What you have been doing is the treatment for the symptoms and not for the root cause. So it will repeat until you treat the source. Skin related problem are symptom of excess heat in the body, digestion issues or stress in the mind. You need to first assess this in details to adopt a suitable treatment plan. In Ayurveda term, such symptoms are triggered by excess Pitta or imbalanced fire energy in body. Feel free to reach out to me online for further evaluation of your symptoms and recommend alternative solution in Ayurveda.
2 people found this helpful

Do you have a treatment for lichen planus pigmentosus in allopathy or any other pathy like homeopathy or naturopathy.

MBBS, MD - Dermatology , Venereology & Leprosy
Dermatologist, Bangalore
Treatment for LPP is difficult. Some results can be achieved with drugs and laser. Consult a dermatologist. Till you visit, keep using good sunscreen.
1 person found this helpful

Hi Dr. I am suffering from lichen planus on scalp. So please suggest me that should I go for homeopathic or allopathic treatment?

MD - Homeopathy, BHMS
Homeopath, Vadodara
Hello Rohit.. it is your choice... as both the doctors will say that their treatment is best... You can consult me for homoeopathic treatment.

My wife is 60 yrs, has been diagnosed with LICHEN planus. What is the cause, symptoms and treatment for it?

MD - Homeopathy, BHMS
Homeopath, Vadodara
It is an autoimmune disease. Symptom is a specific type of skin rashes. Treatment are various kinds. You can consult me at Lybrate for homoeopathic treatment..

Hello Dr.I had Anal sex 2-days ago. After that having anal pain and outer vein also swallow (vein means vagina and Anus in between vein )Please suggest me what is the better cure? Right now I am seeing tub with little warm water.

Bachelor of Unani Medicine and Surgery (B.U.M.S)
Unani Specialist, Hyderabad
Dear Lybrate user. Take Tab Ibugesic plus daily two times for 3 days and apply volinigel one time.

Table of Content

What is the treatment?
How is the treatment done?
Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)
Who is not eligible for the treatment?
Are there any side effects?
What are the post-treatment guidelines?
How long does it take to recover?
What is the price of the treatment in India?
Are the results of the treatment permanent?
What are the alternatives to the treatment?
Play video
Homeopathy Treatment
Namaste, I am Dr. Pavan Kumar from Hyderabad. My clinic is in Old Colony Manikonda. I am a post graduate in homeopathy and I'm practicing since 9 years in the Old Colony. Many of the complaints are because of the suppression of the previous complaints when the disease that get started. So whenever the person suffers from the mental complaints or any cause, any suppression the disease will get into the internal body. So then again it will start reappearing in the physical body because the vital force will be very strong. Homeopathy will cure the disease from the roots which means it goes to the mental plain and clears there. So the mental plain is cleared automatically, after that the physical components will get clear.

Bronchitis or respiratory complaints this cause chronic obstructive COPD. So when they are getting treated sometimes from physical complaints may appear so don't get worried about that. After the COPD, all internal complaints get cleared. At last the physical components get cleared in your life and generally when you see an external manifestation, don't try to suppress it. If you fight with it, it will get more stronger than you do. Any other complaint to spread all over your body and spoil your internal health including your mental health permanently. There are only one single disease with multiple hydrotic Hydra type of for expansion. It will show in many dimensions so we thought killing the hydroit, cannot fight with the tentacles all the day. Isn't it?

First of all a person should in homeopathic treatment. The patient should be in a systematic way, disciplinary way in the in terms of food and behavioral pattern and the atmospheric pattern. So it will help the doctor to treat the patient without any disturbance. There won't be any side effects in homeopathic treatment. As I told you in chronic cases after long treatment. Sometimes there may be any aggravation that is very rare. This is a misconception that these are called side effects. There are no side effects in homeopathy but we should not misuse the homeopathic medicine. It will have bad impact in your body so consult a homeopathic doctor who is can understand you as whole and it, who can treat you, then you'll will get a good result in homeopathy.

Play video
Know more about Weight Loss
How Tailor-Made Diet and Detox Plans can help to Reduce Weight
How Tailor-Made Diet and Detox Plans can help to Reduce Weight

Hello friends I am Sweta Shahi, owner of Slimage Diet clinic. I have total experience of 8 years so far I have been working as head of the department for different hospitals, now slimage is my own baby. We have so many patients coming with the issue of weight loss. So lets talk about weight loss today. Major issues people face with weight loss is I cant eat tasty food, deserts. I cant eat what I want to eat. But we specialize in making tailor made diet plans wherein you are allowed to eat whatever you want to. Yes I am repeating that again. In any kind of weight loss program we make sure that you are allowed to eat whatever you like eating.

Even we have different kind of detox plans, which even includes chocolate detox, milk detox, there are detox plans with paneer, there are detox plans with any kind of food you wish to have. These are not mono plansn they are specially tailor made designed plans where you can get good results.

Coming back to weightless, it is not a big task. We don t tell you to exercise much, we don t tell you to join gyms, we don t tell you to run or starve. What exactly we want you to do is eat being happy, that yes I am eating whatever I want to. We even have success stories where people lost eight kilos in just 40 days, eating of their choice of food. We have a success story of losing 80 kilos in 10 months who wanted to go for a bariatric surgery now he is even off diabetes and I certainly look forward to get connected to you if you are looking forward lose weight. Stop starvation, stop fighting against it. Eat chocolates, jalebis whatever you want to.

You can connect me through Lybrate or you can just type Shweta slimming diet clinic on Google and you can get through our appointment list. Thank you so much.
Play video
Importance Of Water In Our Daily Life
Hello! Everyone

My name major Dr. Kartik Kohli. I m retired medical officer from army. I served Indian army from 2005 to 2012.

Today we began to talk about water why water is important for you water is the important source of life as we know 70% of your body is water now when we talk about water what do we understand about water? hydration , hydration is important because what we want to take inside our bodies it will help us cleanse our system it is good for your skin for our hair for our nails most importantly it is good for our GI tract and Also for our kidneys what we don't realized is that kidneys remove lot of bad material out of the body by using water so what is the content of water should be in our body . The content of water should b around 3 to 5 liters a day let me give you a simple example every waking hour that is lets sat you sleep 8 hours a day you get up for about 16 work for about 16 hours a day every waking hour have a glass of water one glass of water let s say 200ml so that will make around 3.2 liters a day that is fairly good enough. That is not good enough but good enough to keep yourself healthy now you would ask me as in why water is important for your, you know, General bodily function. Bodily functions include like passing of Stools. Stools are soft and not hardened because you have enough water in your diet of their is water in your diet they are soft you'll not have problems hemorrhoids you'll not have problems with your constipation acidity it help you to regulated acid content in your stomach so the imprtant point is for us to understand that water being such a simple thing it s not rocket science it s not GI Science its something very simple that anybody can do it will help you reduce your appetite you can get on your diets very fast your diet can be regulated what does not imp is that if u decrease water especially in the winter climate if you decreased water in winter climate stools are going to be hard you'll have acidity you ll have not such a good sense of lifestyle that you can enjoy at the end of day you want to feel healthy if want you to be happy that is why water is so important for you if there is lack of water the simple indicator for the lack of water in your diet will be when urine turns yellow if there is any shade of yellow in your diet, it your urine you'll understand that there is lack of water this is very simple indicator. I want you to be healthy I want you to be free of disease and for which one simple thing you can do with your life with your diet is increase water in your diet now water can be attained from multiple sources such as you can drink water plus you can eat fruits and vegetables but i suggest that you drink plane simple water that is not so hard you can do it i know it so do you.

Thank you.
Play video
Role Of Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS)
Hello Everybody!

I am Dr. Kunal Das and I am the principal consultant, department of gastroenterology, endoscopy. I am an expert on endoscopic ultrasound and today will talk about endoscopic ultrasound and its role in various diseases. Endoscopic ultrasound is a new tool which is combining 2 powerful procedures endoscopy and ultrasound. Endoscopic ultrasound was discovered 20 years ago where it was mostly used as the research tool. Endoscopic ultrasound plays a very important role in GI interventions.

Endoscopic ultrasound is basically an endoscope which is of 2 types. Radial and linear scope. The radial scope is one which is more rounded in corrector. It helps to diagnose various diseases like stones, GI. The 2nd type of scope is linear scope in which the plain of endoscopic ultrasound towards the axis of the scope and the advantage of the linear endoscope is that it can be used to with fine needle aspiration and GI interventions. This is used in various diseases. Endoscopic ultrasound is of great utility in the diagnosis of bile duct stones, pancreatic, adenocarcinoma. With this kind of scope these are the most important causes utilizing the end staging of upper GI.

It is the most important scope and diagnostic ability for pancreatic diseases. With newer techniques we can do pancreatic fine needle aspiration, fine needle biopsy which helps us in diagnosis of pancreatic cancers and hence, we can start chemotherapy. Also, there are newer techniques in endoscopic guidance for GI interventions. In angiotherapy, we use endoscopic ultrasound as a guide. We can do fine needle injections of chemotherapy of radiofrequency ablation of pancreatic cancers. Also, newer techniques, US techniques gastroenterostomy, where US guidance use to make a cannal between the stomach and the GI. The gallbladder is accessed from the GI tract and we put in a metallic strength between the gallbladder.

So, in those cases it has been found that it is of great usage instead of gallbladder drainage has been coming out in a great way. So, we find that endoscopic ultrasound is only a research tool. It is important in all of the GI centres so because of its utility diagnostic and therapeutic usage at this time. We also find that in certain cases where there is the mismatch or ERCP which cannot be done. Endoscopic ultrasound is a very important tool in the management of upper GI, like pancreatic cancers, pancreatic adenocarcinoma, chemotherapy. And today it is the essential tool for the management of GI in our practice.

Thank You.
Play video
Skin Enlightenment and Acne Problem
Hello, friends. Now we'll speak regarding skin enlightenment and acne problem which is very common nowadays.

Not only related to PCOS thyroid like hormonal imbalance problem also related to irregular diet habits and wrong diet habits. A lot of junk food is taken. Even these patients are not following diet restrictions as well as regular sleep timings and a lot of use of mobile and electronic gadgets which leads to improper sleep and increase in this body heat and acne related problems. In our clinic we give medicines, diet consultation as well as we give some Ayurvedic facial treatments for acne but then melasma darkening of skin and loose skin wrinkling skin for all age groups right from the age 30 into the age of 65.

The facial treatment, the cleaning scrubbing and application of lepers are totally ayurvedic and made in our own clinic. Some of the formulations are there which are fresh and ready level like fruit facial is there, Pancham with facial is there which is made from cows milk, cows butter, ghee, sugar and honey. So with this not only the acme not stop coming from the roots and the deep pores and pigmentation are also reduced. Along with that if you take some punch occur and detoxification treatments like Virecharna and Bharma produce the further growth of acne and this the face gets enlightened totally. For this treatment, you have to follow proper diet restriction and diet regimen for around one month, which you have to meet me and consult me, we can plan for the treatment.

Apart from this, there are some good diet health tips in that. You have to take fresh fruits, vegetables, take plane milk in the night, early morning take cotton, dip it in the cold milk and clears the face for two minutes. Apply tomato paste twice a week. Apply a nutmeg pest in one drop of almond oil and slight butter homemade butter to the melasma patches. Do it for 15 days, use it for the eyes as eye pack, dark circles will also get removed.

So this is all treatments what we do in our clinic. For further details you can contact me by lybrate, by text message or audio call.
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