How to Treat Oral Lichen Planus Naturally
Your immune system works as your body’s defense against illness and infection. Since it recognizes your cells, it will try to get rid of anything unfamiliar, like parasites and germs. When this defense system reacts to stress, viral infection, or an allergen, you may experience itchy red, bluish, or purple lesions that spread to your skin, nails, scalp, mouth, and the genitals. This is called lichen planus, and the discomfort you will feel can range from mild to severe.
The American Academy of Dermatology notes that while the rash is uncomfortable and unsightly, it is often not serious nor is it contagious. It is unclear whether lichen planus is the body’s natural response to an allergen or an autoimmune disease. Regardless of its classification, the resulting rash can virtually affect every part of the body. Here are four main types you need to know:
- Bullous: Fluid-filled lesions and blisters that can occur in the mouth, trunk, lower limbs, and genitals.
- Erosive: A bright red rash that usually manifests in the mucous membranes of the mouth and genitals. Most people feel moderate to extreme discomfort when drinking or eating, especially with spicy or acidic foods. Ulcers may occur in more severe cases.
- Reticular: Displays a white, web-like pattern called “Wickham’s Striae.” This is easy to identify as lichen planus.
- Atrophic: The rarest form, atrophic lichen planus affects the legs and trunk, or other areas that have had one of the other types. You will see whitish blue papules with a center that has broken down.
If you think you have lichen planus of any form, seek a medical professional because there may be a more serious underlying condition that needs immediate treatment. Your doctor or dentist (if you have oral lichen planus) may recommend natural remedies apart from conventional medication. Here are some of them:
- Turmeric – According to a study published in the National Journal of Maxillofacial Surgery, turmeric ointment can alleviate discomfort in oral lichen planus. It has antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties that help inhibit the spread of the disease. From tea to face mask, you can use basically any turmeric product to promote healing.
- Folate – A research from the Department of Oral Medicine in Thailand revealed that almost half of the respondents who had oral lichen planus were folate deficient. Consider including folate-rich foods in your diet. Garbanzo beans, asparagus, beets, avocados, and lentils are perfect sources.
- Vitamin A – Drugs used to treat the condition often include vitamin A as it keeps the skin and mucous membranes healthy. Eat more vitamin A rich foods during a breakout. Sweet potatoes, spinach, raw carrots, and kale all support the immune system to fight inflammation.
- Coconut Oil – This natural remedy can do wonders for your teeth and gums. Coconut oil pulling is one of the best ways to remove bacteria in the mouth and minimize itching and pain.
Depending on your symptoms, you may be referred to a gum and dental specialist. Our friendly and reliable dentists at Kyrene Family Dentistry can help assess your condition and provide you with your best options. Call us today at 480-705-9005 or visit our clinic in Chandler, AZ, for a consultation.