Lichen planus (Charmakushta)
हस्तिचर्मखरस्पर्शचर्म…………………… (अ. ह्र्. नि.१४/२०)
Lichen planus (LP) is a rare, chronic, inflammatory autoimmune skin and mucous membrane disease. It most commonly presents as itchy, shiny, reddish-purple spots (lesions) on the skin (cutaneous LP) or as white-gray lesions in the mouth or on the lips (oral LP). Less commonly, it may also involve the genitals (penile or vulvar LP), scalp (lichen planopilaris), ears (otic LP), nails, eyes, and esophagus. Similar to lichen found growing on trees and rocks in forests, the skin lesions are often flat-topped and can be somewhat scaly, hence the name “lichen” planus.
Skin diseases are collectively described as kushta roga in Ayurveda. Due to its resemblance in signs and symptoms, Lichen planus. seems similar to charma kushtha, which is a vata and kapha dosha dominant condition in class of kshudra kushtha. The vitiated dosha affects the skin and its blood circulation affecting the moisture of the tissue. Affected skin therefore becomes discoloured and thick.
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Causes of Lichen planus
In most affected individuals, the exact cause of Lichen planus is unclear. It is suspected that exposure to infections, drugs, allergens, or injury may sensitize the immune system and cause the immune system to attack skin cells. This initial eruption may persist for weeks to months, and recurrences can continue throughout the individual’s lifetime.
Ayurvedic reference of Lichen Planus
Symptomsof Lichen planus
Some of the most common symptoms of lichen planus include the following:
- Purplish-coloured lesions or bumps with flat tops on your skin or genitals
- Lesions that develop and spread over the body over the course of several weeks or a few months
- itching at the site of the rash
- Lacy-white lesions in the mouth, which may be painful or cause a burning sensation
- blisters, which burst and become scabby
- Thin white lines over the rash
The most common type of lichen planus affects the skin. Over the course of several weeks, lesions appear and spread. The condition usually clears up within 6 to 16 months.
Less commonly, the lesions can occur in areas besides the skin or genitals. These may include:
- Mucous membranes
- The scalp
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Diet Management in Lichen planus
Do’s (Pathya) in Lichen planus
- Apply cool compresses instead of scratching
- Spices such a Turmeric, Ginger, Cumin, Tulsi, Cardamom and Curry Leaves are all effective at dealing with Lichen Planus
- Reducing stress and aiming for good mental health is important in tackling this condition
- Keep skin dry in warm and humid climates as well as wearing cotton clothing and cotton bed clothes.
- Good sleep is important in order to ensure normal functioning of digestive fire and immunity to toxins
Don’ts (Apathya) in Lichen planus
- Avoid soap or body wash at area affected with Lichen Planus. Use clear water only.
- Avoid spicy, hot, acidic foods or drinks
- Avoid very tight clothes
- Avoid injuries to your skin.
- Limit the stress in your life.
- For oral lichen planus, stop smoking, avoid alcohol, maintain good oral hygiene, and avoid any foods that seem to irritate your mouth
Yoga Therapy in Lichen planus
- Baddha konasana
Ayurvedic Treatment for Lichen planus
A combination of Shodana and Shamana chikitsa, nidanparivarjana, kushthahara dravyprayoga are useful in treating Lichen planus, if it is not so chronic and other conditions are favourable. The drugs withKapha Vataghna (Doshahara) properties, along withVishaharam, Kandughna, Kushthaghna, andVranashodhanaropanam (Vyadhihara) properties can be chosen.
Internal Medicines for Lichen planus
- Aragwadhadi Kashaya
- Patolamuladi Kashayam
- Jatyadi Ghritam
- Arogyavardini Vati
- Panchtikta Ghritam
- Mahamanjishthadi Kwatha
- Mahatiktaka Ghritam
- Tiktaka ghritam
- Mahamarichyadi tailam
- Gandhaka Rasayana
- Mustadi Churna
- Vajrak taila
Single drugs used inLichen planus
- Vibhitaka (Terminalia bellerica)
- Surasa (Ocimum sanctum)
- Shirisha (Albizia lebbek)
- Haridra (Curcuma longa)
- Gandhaka (Sulphur)
- Katuki (Picrorhiza Kurroa)
- Nimba (Aristolochia indica)
- Guloochi (Tinospora cordifolia)
Article Written By: Dr. Sahil Gupta, Ayurvedic Allergist