9 Effective Natural Remedies To Treat Lichen Planus

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Natural Remedies To Treat Lichen Planus

Since there is no direct cure for lichen planus, focus on reducing the symptoms. Apply turmeric paste, coconut oil, or ginger juice on the affected areas; drink valerian or ginger tea and aloe vera juice; take an oatmeal bath once a week; try oil pulling with coconut oil; stick to a healthy diet rich in vitamins A, B9, and D; and expose your skin to sunlight once a day.

Lichen planus is a non-infectious inflammation that appears on different areas of the body. It is characterized by an itchy, reddish-purple rash. The most affected areas are arms, legs, mouth, vagina, vulva, penis, and the scalp.

The exact causes of lichen planus are largely unknown, but a few experts claim the skin disease is an autoimmune disorder or caused by viral infections like Hepatitis C. It affects 2% of the world’s population and is mostly seen in people above 40 years of age, chiefly females. Lichen planus on the skin can clear up in about 6 to 9 months. But it could leave permanent marks on other parts of the body and also take longer to heal. Though there is no cure for lichen planus, there are things you can do at home to reduce the severity of the symptoms.

1. Apply Turmeric On Affected Areas

Natural treatment for lichen planus Turmeric

Turmeric is an age-old remedy for any skin issue. And for good reason! It has been found to be anti-inflammatory and antibacterial. And it’s packed with antioxidants. This is due to curcumin, a key ingredient in turmeric.

One study revealed, in the case of oral lichen planus, applying turmeric ointment on the mouth sores for 3 months removed the signs completely in patients.1

There was visible improvement in oral lichen planus in just 10 days of having turmeric.

How To Use Turmeric For Lichen Planus

  • For lichen planus on the skin, apply a paste of turmeric powder and water on the affected areas and rinse it off after 15 minutes.
  • For oral lichen planus, the above-mentioned study made a turmeric ointment using 10 parts of alcohol to 1 part powder.
  • Add turmeric powder to your dishes.

2. Use Tea Tree Oil Mouthwash

Natural treatment for lichen planus Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is a powerhouse of goodness. It has proven beneficial for treating various skin conditions including acne, psoriasis, and eczema.2 This is because of its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, both useful for any skin-related condition. The same properties make it good for treating mouth sores associated with oral lichen planus. Oral hygiene is an important part of the treatment.

DIY Tea Tree Oil Mouthwash 

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons tea tree essential oil
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons peppermint essential oil
  • 1/2 cup water

Method

  • Mix all the ingredients and store in a glass jar.
  • Rinse your mouth with this wash once a day.

3. Apply Ginger Juice On Affected Areas

Natural treatment for lichen planus Ginger

Ginger is another ancient remedy to keep inflammation at bay. Studies have proven that ginger has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits.3 But that’s not all. Ginger is also a great antihistamine – used for treating allergies. Sometimes, an allergic reaction could cause lichen planus on certain parts of the body, and ginger can help reduce the signs of the allergy.

How To Use Ginger  

  • Apply ginger juice on the affected areas.
  • Drink ginger tea regularly.

4. Use Aloe Vera Juice And Gel

Natural treatment for lichen planus Aloe Vera

Aloe vera has a truckload of benefits, a reason why the Japanese refer to the plant as “no need for a doctor.” Numerous studies reveal that aloe vera is great for treating inflammation, mouth ulcers, wounds, and burns.45

In 9 months, drinking aloe vera juice and applying aloe vera gel can completely cure lichen planus.

One study found out aloe vera reduced all the symptoms of lichen planus, including burning sensation, severe pain, and skin lesions. In 9 months, the patients were symptom-free.6

How To Use Aloe Vera

  • Start every morning with a glass of aloe vera juice.
  • Apply aloe vera gel on the affected areas of the skin.
  • For oral lichen planus, aloe vera mouthwash can be beneficial.7

 5. Take An Oatmeal Bath

Natural treatment for lichen planus Oats

There’s a reason a lot of people love taking an oatmeal bath. Oatmeal has been found to be great for the skin. Its natural exfoliating and cleansing properties, along with its effect against inflammation, can improve the symptoms of lichen planus. It can also give relief to itchy skin.8

How To Use Oatmeal

  • Take an oatmeal bath once or twice a week.
  • Apply a mixture of oats and water directly on the affected areas.

6. Drink Valerian Tea

Natural treatment for lichen planus Valerian

Valerian is a popular sedative herb. It is used to treat anxiety and sleep-related issues. A lichen planus flare-up could be triggered by stress,9 and this herb can provide a calming effect on the mind and help in stress management.10

How To Use Valerian

  • Drink a cup of valerian tea a few times a week.

7. Try Oil Pulling With Coconut Oil

There hasn’t been any study to establish the healing effect of coconut oil on lichen planus yet. But many patients have reported significant improvement to complete cure after oil pulling with coconut oil or applying coconut oil on the affected area. Coconut oil has a soothing effect on itchy and dry skin.

8. Eat Foods Rich In Vitamin A And B9

It has been found that people with lichen planus have a low level of folate or vitamin B9.11 You can find folate in dark green leafy vegetables, lentils, beans, citrus fruits, and avocado.

As far back as the 1970s, clinical studies found that applying retinoic acid (vitamin A acid) on lichen planus in the mouth and the genitals helped heal the condition.12 13 It is possible that having enough vitamin A in the diet can reduce the symptoms. Foods rich in vitamin A include beef liver, carrots, and leafy greens like kale and spinach.

9. Spend Time In The Sun

A study and a case report have suggested that oral lichen planus is linked with a vitamin D deficiency. This sunshine vitamin is linked with our immunity, and we know that some cases of lichen planus are an autoimmune reaction.14 15 Spend some time in the sun, exposing the affected areas to sunlight, and eat vitamin D foods like tuna or salmon and egg yolks.

Things You Need To Follow If You Have Lichen Planus

  • If you are having an itchy bout, cool compresses can provide immediate relief. Avoid scratching.
  • Remember, if you have oral lichen planus, be strong in your oral hygiene game.
  • Avoid spicy, acidic, and hard foods.
  • Eat plenty of veggies and fruits. Your body needs all the vitamins and minerals during a flare-up, especially vitamin B9 or folate.
  • Stay clear from drinking alcohol and smoking.
  • If you have genital lichen planus, don’t use soap to clean up. Just water is fine.

We know it’s difficult to cope with lichen planus. But be strong and try to follow a healthy and stress-free life.

References   [ + ]

1.Singh, Vibha, Mahesh Pal, Shalini Gupta, S. K. Tiwari, Laxman Malkunje, and Somdipto Das. “Turmeric-A new treatment option for lichen planus: A pilot study.” National journal of maxillofacial surgery 4, no. 2 (2013): 198
2.Benzie, Iris FF, and Sissi Wachtel-Galor, eds. Herbal medicine: biomolecular and clinical aspects. CRC Press, 2011
3.Mashhadi, Nafiseh Shokri, Reza Ghiasvand, Gholamreza Askari, Mitra Hariri, Leila Darvishi, and Mohammad Reza Mofid. “Anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effects of ginger in health and physical activity: review of current evidence.” International journal of preventive medicine 4 (2013)
4.Surjushe, Amar, Resham Vasani, and D. G. Saple. “Aloe vera: A short review.” Indian journal of dermatology 53, no. 4 (2008): 163
5.Aloharrif, M. M., and K. V. Sandeep. “Aloe vera their chemicals composition and applications: A review.” Int. J Biol Med Res 9 (2011): 466-471
6.Patil, B. A., H. P. Bhaskar, J. S. Pol, A. Sodhi, and A. V. Madhu. “Aloe vera as cure for lichen planus.” The New York state dental journal 79, no. 5 (2012): 65-68
7.Mansourian, Arash, Mahnaz Saheb-Jamee, Jalil Momen-Beitollahi, Fatemeh Momen-Heravi, Mahsa Esfehani, and Omid Khalilzadeh. “Comparison of aloe vera mouthwash with triamcinolone acetonide 0.1% on oral lichen planus: a randomized double-blinded clinical trial.” The American journal of the medical sciences 342, no. 6 (2011): 447-451
8.Michelle Garay, M. S., M. B. A. Judith Nebus, and B. A. Menas Kizoulis. “Anti-inflammatory activities of colloidal oatmeal (Avena sativa) contribute to the effectiveness of oats in treatment of itch associated with dry, irritated skin.” Journal of Drugs in Dermatology 14, no. 1 (2015): 43-48
9.Sandhu, Simarpreet V., Jagpreet S. Sandhu, Himanta Bansal, and Vinay Dua. “Oral lichen planus and stress: An appraisal.” Contemporary clinical dentistry 5, no. 3 (2014): 352
10.Benke, Dietmar, Andrea Barberis, Sascha Kopp, Karl-Heinz Altmann, Monika Schubiger, Kaspar E. Vogt, Uwe Rudolph, and Hanns Möhler. “GABA A receptors as in vivo substrate for the anxiolytic action of valerenic acid, a major constituent of valerian root extracts.” Neuropharmacology 56, no. 1 (2009): 174-181
11.Thongprasom, Kobkan, Pornpan Youngnak, and Vilaiwan Aneksuk. “Folate and vitamin B12 levels in patients with oral lichen planus, stomatitis or glossitis.” (2001).
12.Günther, S. “The therapeutic value of retinoic acid (vitamin A acid) in lichen planus of the oral mucous membrane.” Dermatology 147, no. 2 (1973): 130-136.
13.Günther, Siegwart H. “Vitamin A acid in treatment of oral lichen planus.” Archives of dermatology 107, no. 2 (1973): 277-277.
14.Thum-Tyzo, Karolina, Beata Petkowicz, Bartłomiej Tyzo, Marlena Pedowska, and Marcin Dziedzic. “OI0378 Vitamin D3 and oral health in patients with lichen planus.” Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology and Oral Radiology 117, no. 5 (2014): e385.
15.Varma, R. Beena, Nidhin J. Valappila, Anuradha Pai, Shweta Channavir, and Nimisha Mathew. “Oral Lichen Planus: Is Vitamin D Deficiency a Predisposing Factor? A Case Report.”

Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.

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