Lichen planus of the skin
A number of alternative medicines are promoted as effective treatments for lichen planus of the skin. The claims about these treatments haven't been substantiated by research. Because lichen planus goes away on its own in most people, it's difficult to judge the effectiveness of a treatment without carefully designed clinical trials.
Purported alternative treatments for lichen planus of the skin include:
- Aloe vera gel
- Lavender oil
- Tea tree oil
- Sulphur mineral baths
- Vitamin supplements
- A diet rich in fruit and vegetables
- Oral and topical herbal medications
- Cod liver oil supplements, a source of vitamins A and D
Talk to your doctor before trying an alternative treatment for lichen planus of the skin. Some alternative medicines or vitamin supplements result in serious adverse reactions when combined with prescription medicines.
Other forms of lichen planus
A couple of small clinical trials have suggested the benefit of aloe vera gel for treating lichen planus of the mouth and vulva.
Feb. 22, 2013
- Le Cleach L, et al. Lichen planus. New England Journal of Medicine. 2012;366:723.
- Sharma A, et al. Lichen planus: An update and review. Cutis. 2012;90:17.
- Usatine RP, et al. Diagnosis and treatment of lichen planus. American Family Physician. 2011;84:53.
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2013: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-08373-7..00002-9&isbn=978-0-323-08373-7&about=true&uniqId=343863096-23. Accessed Dec. 28, 2012.
- Bradford J, et al. Management of vulvovaginal lichen planus: A new approach. Journal of Lower Genital Tract Disease. 2013;17:28.
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- Habif TP. Clinical Dermatology: A Color Guide to Diagnosis and Therapy. 5th ed. Edinburgh, U.K.; New York, N.Y.: Mosby Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-7234-3541-9..X0001-6--TOP&isbn=978-0-7234-3541-9&uniqId=230100505-57. Accessed Dec.28, 2012.
- Gibson LE (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan. 10, 2013.