Oral Lichen Planus (OLP)
Oral Lichen Planus is a variety of Lichen Planus (a skin condition) that shows purplish, often slightly raised and itchy lesions on the distal limbs in its commonest form
Lichen Planus is a condition in which the defect lies in the body’s defence mechanism, causing damage to the inner lining of mouth. This condition can be precipitated by an allergy to dental materials, oral products, bad oral hygiene, certain medicines (Aspirin type compounds, Sulphonamides, antimalarial drugs, Beta Blockers, or ACE inhibitors that are use for the control of high blood pressure).
Oral lesions of Lichen Planus often present as bluish or silvery streaks and patches on any part of the inner lining of mouth cavity. The sores may or may not be there. These often cause pain, difficulty in chewing food, problems with certain foods like spices or hot beverages.
A simultaneous occurrence of oral lesions with those of skin and lining of the genitals is often seen in the same patient.
Other areas that can have LP lesions are the nails and the scalp manifesting as distortion of nails and hairless patches respectively.
OLP cannot be cured completely. The aim of treatment is to relieve pain and other symptoms of the disease. A residual silvery network of lines is considered to be an end point of treatment provided the subject has no symptoms.
The following measures are proven to be helpful in coping with OLP:
1 Eliminate smoking, tobacco chewing, and alcohol
2 Maintain a high degree of oral and dental hygiene helps faster recovery and is
better done under the guidance of a dentist.
3 Consume a diet rich in fruits and vegetables
4 Stay alert against any deterioration of the condition (ulceration, growth, glandular
enlargement, spread, and chronic non-healing of lesions) as these could signal
development of cancer. An oral brush biopsy with computer-assisted analysis has now
become viable option to the conventional scalpel biopsy for establishing diagnosis of
cancer in such cases.
5 Use anti-candidal (anti-fungal) preparations is recommended since this micro-
organism is known to worsen the course of the disease.
You are permitted to share, distribute, print, or reproduce this article for private use with proper citation of the source. The article is a part of our service to fellow human beings as a means of health education and awareness enhancement to minimize dependence on healthcare
Dr Vinay Kumar
Senior Consultant Dermatologist
+91-93 199 299 00
(More articles available on the website)
Suggestions, Queries, and Comments are welcome