Lichen planus, a recurring itchy disease, starts as a rash of small, separate, red or purple bumps that then combine and become rough, scaly patches.

The cause may be a reaction to certain drugs or infectious organisms. Drugs that may be causing lichen planus should be avoided.

Typical symptoms include an itchy rash made of red or purple bumps that form into scaly patches appearing on different parts of the body and sometimes in the mouth or on the genitals.

Lichen planus usually lasts for more than 1 to 2 years, although it sometimes lasts longer, especially when the mouth is involved. Symptoms return in about 20% of people. Prolonged treatment may be needed during outbreaks of the rash.

People with mouth sores have a slightly increased risk of oral cancer, but the rash on the skin does not turn cancerous.

Lichen planus in the vagina may be chronic and hard to treat, which decreases quality of life and may cause scarring.

Our individuality or uniqueness as a person, which is influenced by our genetic make-up, upbringing and life situations, is the reason why some people experience lichen planus more than others. Homeopathy understands and values this uniqueness.

Do you know …

Homeopathy is the first line of treatment for lichen planus.

If I was not an actress, I would be a homeopathic doctor.

Lindsay Wagner

Causes of lichen planus

The exact cause of lichen planus is not known, but it may be a reaction by the immune system to a variety of drugs like:

  • especially beta-blockers.
  • nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs [NSAIDs].
  • angiotensin-converting enzyme [ACE] inhibitors.
  • sulfonylureas.
  • antimalarial drugs.
  • penicillamine.
  • thiazides.

The disorder itself is not infectious. Lichen planus of the mouth may occur in some people who have hepatitis C or, less commonly, possibly hepatitis B.

Recurrent and severe lichen planus can prevent people from doing what they usually enjoy and starts to affect the mind as well. They may become shy, depressed and anxious. They may stop their activities, withdraw socially, and become preoccupied with their appearance. The mind-body complex is now fully affected and becomes a vicious circle which keeps an individual in suffering mode.


Symptoms of lichen planus

The rash of lichen planus almost always itches, sometimes severely. The characteristic purple flat-topped bumps, some of which join together to form larger patches and have angular borders. When light is directed at the bumps from the side, the bumps display a distinctive sheen. New bumps may form wherever scratching or a mild skin injury occurs. Sometimes a dark discolouration remains after the rash heals called hyperpigmentation.

Usually, the rash is evenly distributed on both sides of the body—most commonly on the torso, on the inner surfaces of the wrists, on the legs, and on the genital area. The face is less often affected. On the legs, the rash may become especially large, thick, and scaly. The rash sometimes results in patchy baldness on the scalp. Lichen planus is not common among children.

About half of people who get lichen planus also develop it in the mouth. Lichen planus in the mouth usually results in a lacy, netlike bluish white patch that forms in lines and branches called Wickham striae. This type of mouth patch often does not hurt, and the person may not know it is there. Sometimes painful sores form in the mouth, which often interfere with eating and drinking.


Lichen planus affects the nails in up to 10% of cases. Some people may have only mild symptoms such as discolouration of the nail beds, thinning of the nails, and formation of nail ridges. Other people may completely lose their nails and have scarring from the cuticle at the base of the nail (the nail fold) to the skin under the nail (the nail bed).

Diagnosis of lichen planus

A doctor’s thorough evaluation which includes physical; mental; emotional; social health and environmental influence. Through this evaluation doctors try to identify the causes, factors modifying and the impact of symptoms on the daily life quality of a person.

Doctors ask how the person feels; eats; sleeps and goes through a routine day. Identifying these changes is critical because they are unique to each individual and, if present, must be considered to treat effectively.

Doctors typically base the diagnosis of lichen planus on how the rash looks and where it appears on the body. However, because many other disorders can look like lichen planus (such as lupus erythematosus on the body and candidiasis or leukoplakia in the mouth), doctors typically do a biopsy (examination of tissue under a microscope).

Once diagnosed, doctors may do other liver tests and tests for hepatitis infections.


Homeopathic Treatment of lichen planus

After a thorough evaluation, each case is worked upon and a set of similar medicines is derived, from which one single medicine which fits the patient’s presentation at that time, in relevant intensity and repetitions is given.

As the improvement goes on you may need different medicine from the previous one, based on your presenting symptoms. Some need only one medicine throughout the duration of treatment and some need few in sequence one after another across the treatment.

Timely follow-ups are essential to keep moving forward towards the goal of treatment and to identify, manage and overcome any obstacles to the outcome.

Outcome of Individualized Homeopathic Treatment

With Individualised Homeopathic treatment focused on the person who is suffering, the outlook is as follows:

  • Relieves itch
  • Normalises immunity
  • Reduces recurrence
  • Improves sleep
  • Relieves fatigue
  • Restores function
  • Better moods
  • Improves quality of life

Each person is unique and hence the time taken for treatment and the results achieved are also unique. 

Try to consult a well qualified professional homeopath who practices adhering to the tenets of Hahnemannian Homeopathy for Best Outcomes.

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