A number of scientific studies were devoted to the study of lichen planus. However, despite a detailed study of the disease, the exact causes of the occurrence of this disease at this stage of time remain unknown. In accordance with the opinion of leading experts on this subject, lichen planus is considered an autoimmune disease. The consequence of the red flat lichen as a violation of the immune system can be confirmed by the fact that people who have had this disease are more likely to experience other autoimmune diseases, such as vitiligo, focal alopecia and ulcerative colitis.
Causes of lichen planus
Clinical observations have shown that in some patients new foci of this disease appear in the area of mechanical damage to the skin, for example, at the site of scratches, abrasions, or in places rubbed with clothes or decorations. In the mouth, manifestations of lichen planus are observed due to the constant traumatic contact of the oral mucosa with “tartar” or the sharp edges of the teeth. By the way, in medicine such a clinic is called Kebner’s reaction. The disease can occur at any age, although some forms of red focal depriving are more common in people of a particular age group. For example, lichen planus in the oral cavity is most often seen in people aged 50- 60 years, while the skin disease occurs in people belonging to the age group 40-45 years. Recently conducted statistical studies have shown that
Red lichen connection
In the light of recent clinical studies conducted on large groups of people with symptoms of lichen planus, it was found that the manifestation and exacerbation of symptoms of the disease can be more strongly provoked by stress, presented by feelings, negative emotions and overwork.
Moreover, clinical studies have shown that the manifestation of symptoms of the disease in the oral cavity may be associated with some allergic reactions to artificial components (for example, mercury) that are part of dental prostheses and mixtures for filling teeth. In more rare cases, the manifestation of allergic reactions to artificial flavors, observed in the abundant presence in the composition of modern toothpastes. It should be noted that at the slightest hint of the manifestation of foci of red flat lichen in the mouth, it is recommended to immediately consult an allergist. Only a qualified specialist in this field will be able to identify the true nature of the disease after conducting several simple tests for skin allergies. In identifying the dependence of depriving you of allergic reactions, the doctor will be able to recommend how you can eliminate irritating substances from everyday use items. Statistics show that in some people, the replacement of toothpaste or prostheses contributes to the complete or partial disappearance of symptoms of depriving in the oral cavity.
In some cases, the appearance of foci of the disease in the area of the mouth can be observed as a result of taking anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs (for example, ordinary aspirin, diclofenac, ibuprofen and many others), beta-blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, sulfonylurea derivatives, as well as some drugs malaria. In the case of the appearance in the mouth of lichen edema after taking such medications, it is recommended to immediately inform your dermatologist and your general practitioner who prescribed these medicines.
Is red flat lichen contagious?
Lichen planus is considered to be a non-infectious disease in contrast to the more “popular” varieties of this disease and, as a result, cannot be transmitted from the person to another person. On the other hand, it should be noted that most people with symptoms of lichen planus additionally suffer from viral hepatitis C, which, in turn, is a dangerous disease that does not show any of its symptoms for a long time. In this case, if among relatives or close people, someone of your acquaintances develops red flat lichen, it will be necessary to pass tests for the presence of hepatitis C. When an infection is detected, doctors will be able to prescribe you the correct drug treatment, which will either completely eliminate disease from the body, or significantly slow down its progression. Useful information will be about whether pink lichen is contagious.
As a rule, the symptoms of lichen planus are not dangerous, but can cause serious as well as unpleasant consequences. Note that:
- Skin areas damaged by the symptoms of lichen planus can change their color (darken) for a short time.
- In some cases, scars or “dimples” may form in the areas of manifestation.
- With the manifestation of the disease on the head may be irreversible hair loss.
- If lichen planus appears on the eyes, then its foci can lead to a complete loss of vision or to a narrowing of the lacrimal canal, which would entail an unpleasant and continuous tearing.
In case of detection of red lichen on the nails, there may be deplorable irreversible consequences, expressed by the deformation of the nails. Many argue that the manifestations of the disease can lead to the occurrence of cancer tumors, but in fact it is not. Only in the event of symptoms of depriving the mouth can develop cancer later. These data are taken from statistics, which states that over time, 2% of patients who have had a few deprived people subsequently went to the doctor with symptoms of cancer. In order to reduce the likelihood of developing oncology should:
- Refrain from abusing alcohol and smoking;
- Try to eat more fruits and vegetables.
In the event of symptoms, indicating the development of oncology in the area of the mouth, you should immediately consult a doctor.
Symptoms and signs of lichen planus
In practice, the very first foci of the disease begin to appear on the arms and legs, as a rule, in the joints and are dark red or purple seals (the so-called nodules), characterized by severe itching. Over the course of several days / weeks, the disease can spread to other parts of the body, while the symptoms may initially be similar to scabies or other skin diseases. In approximately 1/10 of patients, such dark nodules can appear on the skin in groups, and, as the disease progresses, some of the seals will disappear, whereas new forms will appear around them. In appearance, this manifestation of the disease will resemble a ring, as a result of which it has received the name of ring-shaped lichen planus. On the joints of the fingers and the ankles, such seals can be more solid and thick, as a result of which this form of the disease is called warty. The vesicular form of lichen planus is expressed by the manifestation of vesicles filled with liquid at the site of foci of lichen planus, and is most often observed on the legs, buttocks, back or in the mouth. In addition, lichen can be observed on the oral mucosa and even on the tongue. Often the foci of the disease in the mouth are small seals that do not differ in any symptoms. However, in some cases, the symptoms of such lesions can be reduced to turning into extremely painful sores. This form of lichen disease in medicine is considered erosive and ulcerative. The problem of accurate diagnosis here is that similar symptoms can be caused by a fungus in the mouth. In ten percent of patients with symptoms of lichen planus, the disease can spread to the scalp and nails. Moreover, on the scalp, the manifestations of lichen will be represented by dark-red seals, covered with dry scales and will be characterized by severe itching. In case of an incorrectly chosen treatment, the probability of hair loss will be high. When the disease spreads to the nails, they will be covered with grooves and take a deformed shape. Moreover, the thickness and color of the nails will change (as a rule, the nails turn brown). Such symptoms without testing can be very similar to the symptoms of fungal nail disease.
Clinic of lichen planus
It should be immediately noted that in the case of the manifestation of lichen planus on the skin, the disease can persist without any external changes for a period of 6 to 24 months and then pass. In some cases, after recovery, the lichen may reappear. With the manifestation of the disease in the oral cavity, it lasts at least five years, although in some cases the healing process may be delayed for longer periods of time. Throughout this period, the versicolor may be represented by the chronic form, and from time to time subside and inflame a new one. Often, to make a correct diagnosis by a dermatologist, it will be enough for him to only see the affected skin and the state of the surrounding area. In order to confirm the diagnosis, a skin biopsy procedure can be prescribed. In the case of manifestations of lichen in the esophagus or the nasal cavity, additional research may be ordered from an otorhinolaryngologist, as well as FGDS. If, in addition to the symptoms of the underlying disease, the patient also has side effects that can be expressed by abdominal pain, white spots and prolonged diarrhea, the cause of which is not known to him, then in this case, examinations can be additionally prescribed to exclude autoimmune diseases associated with lichen.
General treatment for lichen planus
Treatment of this disease depends on the degree of severity of the disease and their location on the patient’s body. Manifestations of red lichen, observed on the skin, as a rule, pass by themselves. In order to reduce the duration of the disease and reduce the activity of itching, doctors may recommend for the treatment of special ointments made on the basis of corticosteroid hormones. As a rule, these drugs should be applied to the damaged areas two or three times a day. It is these drugs are the best way to effectively treat skin manifestations of lichen planus. In case of failure or intolerance to drugs based on corticosteroid hormones, in some cases, doctors may prescribe special ointments based on tacrolimus and pimecrolimus. In order to treat red flat lichen of the hypertrophic form, the doctor may prescribe corticosteroid hormones to the patient as injections (for example, drugs based on triamcinolone acetonide), which should be given directly to the affected skin. Whereas in the most extreme cases, acitretin may be used for treatment. In the case of the most severe forms of the disease, it is necessary to use pills based on corticosteroid hormones, for example, the drug Prednisolone for 1 –
Treatment of lichen erythema
If manifestations of lichen planus in the oral cavity do not cause the patient any concern, then there is no need for their treatment. However, if the foci of the disease have become painful depressions that interfere with the normal process of eating food, you should definitely consult a doctor in order to prescribe the correct medical treatment. As a rule, in this case, doctors recommend the use of corticosteroid hormones or else use the procedure of laser burning out the disease foci. Some experts recommend taking drugs that contain such a component as pimecrolimus (elidel), although there is not enough data to date that could confirm the true value and effectiveness of such drugs for the treatment of lichen planus. As mentioned earlier, foci of the disease in the area of the mouth may appear due to permanent damage to the oral mucosa with sharp tooth margins, caries or inflammation due to a rare allergic reaction to certain components of dental fillings or prostheses. For this reason, before starting treatment of the disease in the area of the mouth with the use of appropriate medications, it is necessary to consult a dentist in order to remove tartar or smooth all sharp edges on the teeth, as well as consult about the materials used previously for treatment.
Treatment of lichen planus on the scalp and nails
In the case of manifestation of lichen planus on the scalp, it is necessary to consult a doctor in the necessary order in order to promptly assign the correct treatment, since improper treatment may contribute to the development of the disease and irreversible hair loss. Here it is important to determine precisely that this is not a worming type of disease, and for this it is necessary to know how the lichen looks in children. As a rule, in the treatment of foci of the disease on the head or on the nails, medicine representatives recommend using special ointments or injections based on corticosteroid hormones directly in the focal area of lichen planus. In the case of severe forms of the disease, doctors may also prescribe corticosteroid hormones in pill form.
Treatment of itching
In order to reduce itching, it is recommended to regularly apply special creams or ointments to the nidus of the disease, which will soften and properly moisturize the skin. If the effect of using creams is not noticeable for several days of use, you will need to consult with your doctor about changing the drug.