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Causes and Treatment for Lichen Planus

Oral lichen planus is a pathological skin condition involving inflammation of the tissues in the inner mouth involving the gums, inner cheeks, upper palate, tongue and sometimes the lips. On certain occasion it is also known to affect the throat and the esophagus. Lichen planus occurs in older adults especially during midlife after the age of 45 or 60. However the infection is not just limited to that age factor alone it could occur at any age, but children are very rarely affected by this condition.

Women are twice as likely to be infected as often as men. Sometimes oral lichen planus can also occur on the skin or other mucous membranes if the patient is infected with the oral condition. At first, lichen planus may appear for some weeks before disappearing altogether. However oral lichen planus continues to plague through recurrences that take place for a number of years. Although the disease is neither contagious nor infectious, those who persistently develop this disease for a number of years are at a greater risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma which is a form of malignant skin tumor. Hence it is advisable that the first instance of lichen planus the individual begins to get treatment instead of ignoring the condition.

Most importantly the use of tobacco must be completely eliminated to prevent further complication in this disease. Tobacco is known to be one of the biggest causes of squamous cell carcinoma and hence it would be best to prevent its cause by ending the harmful habit.

There are various causes of lichen planus. Some of them include certain types of medications used in treating heart conditions, arthritis, high blood pressure and malaria. Some people develop an adverse reaction these medications and hence develop lichen planus. Certain types of foods, additives, dental fixtures also cause lichen planus in individuals leading to the skin condition inside the oral cavity.

Also medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and peptic ulcers are associated with lichen planus. Stress and anxiety also play a major role as a cause. The type of lichen planus treatment administered changes from person to person and the stages of the disease.

A mild attack of lichen planus would require simple home care and topical applications. However periodic observations by the doctor can also help in determining when the disease may recur and to help control it. Persistent lichen planus symptoms are dealt with medicated ointments and creams to bring down the inflammation and reduce the itching in the mouth. Particular types of mouthwashes can help to blunt or comfort the painful sensations.