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Natural Remedies To Treat Lichen Planus

Since there is no cure for lichen planus, the treatment revolves around reducing the symptoms. There are a few home remedies that could reduce flare-ups, itchiness, and pain associated with the condition. Apply turmeric paste on the affected areas, drink valerian or ginger tea, and take an oatmeal bath once a week. While adding these remedies in your life, stick to a healthy and balanced diet as well.

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 causes of lichen planus are largely unknown. A few experts claim the skin disease is an autoimmune disorder. It affects 2% of the world’s population and is mostly seen in people above 40 years of age. Lichen planus on the skin can clear up in about 9-18 months. But, it could leave permanent marks on other parts of the body and also take longer to heal.

Natural Remedies For Treating Lichen Planus

Though there is no cure for lichen planus, there are things you can do at home to reduce the severity of the symptoms.

1. Turmeric

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, anti-bacterial, 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 onto the mouth sores for three months reduced the signs completely in patients.1

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

How To:

  • For lichen planus on the skin, simply add turmeric powder to water. Apply the paste to the affected areas and rinse it off after 15 minutes.
  • If you have oral lichen planus, the above-mentioned study made a turmeric ointment using 10 parts of alcohol to 1 part powder
  • Another tip is to add turmeric powder to your dishes

2. Tea Tree Oil

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 being very useful for any skin related condition. The same properties make it useful 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 tablespoon tea tree essential oil
  • 2 tablespoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoon 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. Ginger

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 features.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:  

  • Apply ginger juice on the affected areas
  • As a dietary tip, drink regular cups of ginger tea

4. Aloe Vera

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, aloe vera juice and gel application completely cured lichen planus.6

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.7

How To:

  • Start every morning with a glass of aloe vera juice
  • You could directly apply aloe vera gel on the affected areas of the skin
  • For oral lichen planus, aloe vera mouthwash can be beneficial 8

 5. Oats

Natural treatment for lichen planus Oats

There’s a reason why a lot of people love taking an oatmeal bath. While it does uplift your mood, oats have been found to be great for the skin. Its natural exfoliating and cleansing properties, along with being anti-inflammatory, can reduce the symptoms of lichen planus. It can also give relief to itchy skin. 9

How To:

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

6. Valerian

Natural treatment for lichen planus Valerian

Valerian is a popular sedative herb. It is used to treat anxiety and sleep related issues. One study revealed that a lichen planus flare-up could be triggered by stress.10 The herb has been found to provide calming effects on the mind and is ideal for stress management.11

How To:

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

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 texturally hard foods.
  • Stay clear from drinking alcohol and smoking.
  • If you have genital lichen planus, don’t use soap to clean up. Water is just fine.
  • Eat plenty of veggies and fruits. Your body needs all the vitamins and minerals during a flare-up.

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

References

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
Benzie, Iris FF, and Sissi Wachtel-Galor, eds. Herbal medicine: biomolecular and clinical aspects. CRC Press, 2011
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)
Surjushe, Amar, Resham Vasani, and D. G. Saple. “Aloe vera: A short review.”Indian journal of dermatology 53, no. 4 (2008): 163
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
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
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
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
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
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