What is Lichen Amyloidosis?
Lichen Amyloidosis is a chronic intensely itchy skin rash caused by abnormal deposit of amyloids (proteins) in the skin. The lesions mostly appear in the lower leg, particularly over the shin; however, in few instances there can be lesions on thighs, lower limbs, forearms and back. It is more prominent in males than in females aging fifty to sixty years.
The exact etiological factor is not yet known for the development of lichen amyloidosis. However, genetic and environmental factors may be responsible for this skin condition. Excessive scratching and constant friction between the skin (Kobner’s phenomenon) is known to cause lichen amyloidosis in patients. These factors often damage the epidermis of the skin thereby exposing the next layer known as dermis. Extracellular protein deposits on the upper layer of the dermis known as papillary dermis causing papules and rashes.
Lichen amyloidosis is often associated with pruritus (severe itching) with hyperkeratotic hyper-pigmented rashes predominantly seen on the shin of lower leg.
Lesions consists of scaly papules (multiple raised spots), mostly red or brown in color, which can merge together to form plaques. The condition is usually accompanied with other skin conditions such as Lichen Planus, atopic dermatitis and fungal infections.
In few cases, there can be bleeding involved due to excessive scratching of the skin and lesions may be painful.
Skin biopsy and histological investigation is usually suggested when suspected with lichen amyloidosis.
The conventional treatment usually consists of corticosteroid creams, dermabrasion and in severe cases excision of individual lesion, however, recurrence is common. Antihistamines reduce the itching but prolonged use of such medicines are not recommended.
Scope of homeopathy in Lichen Amyloidosis
Homeopathy has a good scope in treating Lichen amyloidosis. As the disease has a tendency to spread; the aim is to control further progress of the disease and pathology. Homeopathic medicines aim at healing the patient from within by boosting and correcting the immunity. Treating the underlying cause is equally important. Homeopathic medicines have power to control the inflammatory process thereby reducing itching, burning and any further spread of the lichen spots. Dependency or the need of conventional medicines can be reduced. One should opt for homeopathy at the earliest for a speedy recovery. Lichen amyloidosis is a chronic disease and takes its own time for recovery; hence a long-term treatment is usually suggested to patients.
Diagnosis of Lichen Planus
Lichen Planus can be diagnosed clinically by experienced eyes. Lesions on the skin have typical look as described elsewhere on this pages, and their location such as legs, back, mouth, scalp, genitals, nails, or elsewhere (more or less in this order) is important for diagnosis. The typical skin lesions of Lichen Planus are grayish, slivery, pinkish eruptions about 1mm to 4 mm in size; oval or round or irregular in shape, scaly and itchy in nature.
Sometimes the Lichen Planus eruptions, especially in early states, may resemble to some other diseases like atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, candidiasis (in mouth), leukoplakia (mouth), apthous ulcers (mouth).
In case of doubt, or to confirm the diagnosis, a biopsy would help. Biopsy is more often indicated in cases of oral and scalp Lichen Planus. Also, Lichen Planus of nails alone could resemble psoriatic nails or fungus infection of nails. Clinically trained eyes can differentiate in most cases.
Lichen Planus on the scalp may show some scarring by the time patient approaches for treatment. At times, you need to do a biopsy to confirm the diagnosis for scalp Lichen Planus. There may be associated patches of hair loss called alopecia areata.
Skin, Mouth, Nails, Scalp, Genitals
Lichen Planus largely affects skin. It may also affect mouth (oral Lichen Planus), the scalp, nails, or the genitals. It could of more of the said body parts. Is is not a rule that every patient with Lichen Planus will have all the said areas affected. In males it could affect the glans of penis and in females the vulva or vagina. It can be said that more areas affected, more difficult to treat. Also, experience says that the oral or genital Lichen Planus is more difficult to treat as compared to that on the skin.
Under the microscope
It is of less importance to the patients to know how Lichen Planus tissues look when seen under the microscope.
Lichen planus skin under microscope At times, one also observes the Lichen Planus eruptions appearing along the line of a scratch mark, called as Koebner’s phenomenon. It has an affinity for the genitals are involved. In males, the glans ; while in females the vulva may be affected.
The nails when affected tend to become deformed. In short, Lichen Planus affecting the skin, mouth (Oral Lichen Planus) and vaginal LP are some of the most common variants. When the oral mucosa or the genitals are affected, this condition is often neglected, reported late or incorrectly diagnosed. Lichen Planus affecting the food pipe (esophagus) is not a commonly encountered condition. However, some cases have been reported at some institutes.
All variants of Lichen Planus respond very well to homeopathic treatment. It can be said with confidence that Lichen Planus is curable using homeopathy. Homeopathy offers excellent results in Lichen Planus of the skin, mouth and genitals; in this order.
Lichen nitidus is a rare, chronic skin eruption that is characterized by round skin-colored papules, which are flattened on top. The papules are about 1-3 mm in diameter. They are described as micro-papules. Papules mean small solid bumps rising from the skin that are usually less than 10 mm in diameter. They do not contain any fluid. However, they are caused by an underlying inflammatory condition. The exact cause remains unknown.
- The lesions can be localized on the hands, legs, chest, abdomen or back.
- They can be mild moderate or severe, stable or spreading.
- They may cause dryness, roughness of the skin and lead to itching and irritation. The symptoms may increase in summer, humidity and in situations of stress.
- They may be unpleasant in appearance.
- An experienced physician can easily diagnose it clinically. However, a biopsy can be done to confirm the diagnosis.
- It is conventionally treated with moisturizers and local cortisone. However, in extensive cases, oral steroids or a (second generation) retinoid like acitretin is prescribed.
- It is not directly related to lichen planus.It can be confused with lichen planus. Some times dermatologists term it as “mini lichen planus”.
Homeopathy is very effective in the treatment of Lichen nitidus. The medicines help to reduce itching and help to stop the spread, and reduce eruptions dramatically. The disease can be controlled very well with homeopathy.
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