Zinc & Vitamin C for Lichen Planus
Often misdiagnosed for eczema or psoriasis, lichen planus is a nondetermined skin ailment that causes intense itching, inflammation and discoloration of the affected area. Lichen, which means “tree moss” in Latin, and planus, which means “flat,” regards the visual description of the lichen rash. Although some homeopathic remedies have been suggested for lichen planus, including the use of vitamin C and zinc, no peer-reviewed articles or biomedical-based sources have supported the claims. The few sources accessible as of 2010 are primarily social networks and forums.
According to Medicine Net, “Lichen planus is a recurrent rash that is due to inflammation. The rash is characterized by small, flat-topped, many-sided (polygonal) bumps that can grow together into rough, scaly patches on the skin.” The mucous membranes of the mouth, nose or vagina are often sites for lichen planus, though an ideal site is the forearms, legs or ankles. One distinguishable character between it and other skin ailments is its purplish color. Lichen planus is also known as “violaceous.”
Lichen planus is itchy and can last for days to weeks, with intermittent recurrences in the same or different site. The bumps are initially 2 to 4mm in diameter, with angular borders, and a violaceous color, though the borders may enlarge, thus causing the rash to spread.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Merely looking at the color and shape of the lesion determines medical diagnosis. Physicians typically prescribe topical steroidal creams for application to the affected area, including prednisone for treatment. To date, there are no professional or medical sources to support the claim of zinc or vitamin C as legitimate remedies of lichen planus.