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Lichen Planus Print E-mail
by Ron Kennedy, M.D., Santa Rosa, CA

Dr. Kennedy Lichen planus is an inflammatory autoimmune skin disease which affects the eyes, skin, and mucosal lining of the mouth and genitalia. The disease is characterized by inflammatory and itchy blister-like eruptions on the skin or mucosa.

It may occur alone or with other autoimmune diseases, such as ocular cicatricial pemphigoid (an autoimmune eye disease), lupus (a systemic autoimmune disease that can involve any part or organ of the body), and sarcoidosis, also a systemic autoimmune disease.

Autoimmune disorders are caused when the body's immune system, which is meant to defend the body against bacteria, viruses, and any other foreign product, malfunctions and produces antibodies against healthy tissue, cells and organs.

Lichen planus accounts for approximately 5 percent of patients seen in oral medicine clinics. It usually affects persons between the ages of 30 to 65. It has no gender or racial propensity.

In most patients, the disease is self-limited and usually goes away within one or two years. Occasionally it may become chronic and even disabling because of extreme itching and repetitious sores causing erosion of tissue and eventually disfigurement.

Conventional treatment involves the use of Prednisone and other corticosteroids. Often patients are unable to tolerate the toxic side effects of these drugs.

The alternative, nutritional medicine approach is to identify hidden allergies by blood test and avoid those allergens (primarily foods). Also enzyme potentiated desensitization holds hope for putting the disease in long term remission.

As with all automimmune disorders, detoxification and dietary changes are usually helpful. For best results this should be done under the supervision of a doctor experienced in nutritional medicine.

The approach used in homeopathy is to attempt to restore the balance of the system using dilute solutions of natural substances specific to the disorder.

The information in this article is not meant to be medical advice.�Treatment for a medical condition should come at the recommendation of your personal physician.

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