Lichen Sclerosus

Posted in: Conditions, Home
By Dr. Pantea Etminan, NHD
Oct 25, 2012 - 1:05:36 PM

Lichen Sclerosus (LS) is a skin condition that could happen to anyone regardless of age or sex, but most likely it is a condition that takes place to post menopausal women. It is thought to be an uncommon condition yet one that is quiet uncomfortable. It creates patchy white skin with lesions that is thinner than normal. It could affect any part of the body but usually it would involve the skin of the vulvae, foreskin of the penis or skin of the anus.

The severity of its symptoms depends on the particular individual. It could go from hardly being noticed to feeling very bruised and painful at the site, especially in the genital area. If left untreated, LS could lead to other conditions and complications.

Lichen Sclerosus Cause

It's cause, in traditional modern medicine, is unknown. There is some notion though that it may be related to lack of sex hormones in the affected area. It is related to an over active immune system and considered and autoimmunity. LS is not contagious though and can't be spread through sexual intercourse.

This condition is more related to postmenopausal women, but it could happen to men and children as well. In males, those who are uncircumcised have a higher risk, because of the fact that it seems to affect the foreskin. It is thought that in children, the disease and it's symptoms could improve by puberty.

Some individuals may not feel the need for treatment, because the symptoms may be quite mild and they do seem to improve over time. But those who do need treatment, most likely, would receive steroid ointment or cream to treat the area. This is the way that traditional medicine knows how to treat this issue at this time. In certain cases, they may be offered some other drugs that would include pain killers to make them feel more comfortable.
Symptoms could include:

  • Mild to severe itching
  • White spots (without bumps) on the skin site, which eventually could grow into blotchy and more wrinkled patches
  • Easy bruising
  • Very sensitive skin site which could lead to bleeding, blisters or open lesions
  • Painful intercourse

Keep in mind that steroid creams or medications can affect the immunity, the very factor in LS that needs to be addressed in a positive manner (not to supress it). In addition, steroid creams can thin the skin, especially in areas where the skin is more sensitive, such as the vulvae. It does have an effect becuase it is stimulating the system, but in most cases, the issues will return.

Increased Risks that with Lichen Sclerosus

Persistent and reoccurrence of LS in one particular area could increase the risk of skin cancer, though this has not been proven yet. Facts are when a certain area gets attacked over and over again with an illness that could affect the quality of the skin and leave bruising--it could easily relate to other conditions (which in this case may be skin related, but not limited).

My Opinion and Approach to LS

Facts are LS is an autoimmune disease that may show symptoms in only a certain area, but in reality it is affecting all the body as a whole. This in itself would mean that the individual would have a compromised immunity and health. By only looking at one area and trying to treat that one section, we are not applying appropriate attention to the whole body to fully address the issue. While the symptoms may disappear for a while in a certain area, the health issue and factors will remain and possibly even get worse. LS is a condition where the immunity is basically attacking itself and in a way the immunity has been lessened to a sufficient degree. Therefore, the best approach to this would be to look at the whole body, treat the body as a whole while trying to help the symptoms that are occurring at the time. The treatment should not stop just because there are no symptoms, because the root effect will continue to remain.

How to Approach and Treat Lichen Sclerosus in Natural Health

First, we must approach each individual on their own, as we are each unique and may have our own particular issues and complications. Thus the importance of consulting and working with a natural health practitioner who can help evaluate and guide you for your own issues. Then there are certain things that should be considered by all who suffer with LS and may need to be addressed, such as:

  • Life Style
  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Fresh air and Sunshine
  • Nutrition
  • Nutrition deficiency
  • Stress factors/Anxiety
  • Chemical imbalances
  • Psychological being
  • Sleep

All these play an important role in LS condition. Improvement in any one of these aspects could help the situation, although it likely would be a combination of things that should be considered to allow the body to heal itself and eliminate the symptoms.

Things that Could be Helpful to LS

  • Vitamin B complex (especially vitamin B 6), C, E, A
  • Supplementing with good whole food that would include all natural nutrients that the body could be missing--such as whole food greens, sprouted greens, blue green algae, Kelp
  • Antioxidants
  • Good sensible diet which would include mainly of fresh whole vegetables and fruits
  • Detoxification--a good detoxification program could be of great assistance, especially when not in remission

Avoiding or limiting certain foods in the diet (this may be more individualize, thus the importance of consulting with a natural health practitioner, but such foods can typically include):

  • Gluten (which would include, wheat, rye, spelt)
  • Dairy
  • Nuts
  • Oxalates (would include many whole foods such as greens, fruits, nuts and fruits. But this does not mean that it is best to avoid all of these wonderful foods, but rather perform caution in eating too much of them. In addition, it really depends on your personal health and issues, if you are more particularly sensitive to oxalates--then it is best to get to know which foods in particular would contain more oxalates to try to avoid. But in general it is good to eat a diet that is rich in such foods, at the least to some degree. Could refer to the article about "Oxalate Rich Foods" on Webnhw.net)
  • Highly processed foods
  • Hydrogenated oils
  • Processed sugars and flours
  • Packaged foods
  • Fast foods
  • Fried foods
  • Soda Pops
  • Preservatives
  • Chemicals
  • Genetically modified foods (such as wheat, soy, corn, cotton, palm, canola oil, soy oil, corn oil, palm oil--these are only few, make sure to keep updated, because they may be coming up with different ones. If they are not marked non-GMO or Organic, most likely they are GM foods, such as the ones mentioned above)
  • Pesticides and Herbicides

Topical Oils

Topical oils have been shown to have helped lesions and outbreaks, but since everyone is different, you may need to do some trials of different ones to see which one would work best for you. Here are suggested oils by their potential effectiveness:

  • Emu
  • Castor
  • Tamanu
  • Argan
  • Coconut

Emu and castor oil has shown to be promising. Emu oil is rich in vitamins, such as E which may be helpful in healing skin lesions. These oils need to be applied several times or as needed.

Also, taking baths with salts would be very soothing yet effective healing way to help with the outbreaks:

  • Sea salt
  • Epsom salt
  • Blue green algae leaf
  • Kelp
  • Sea Algae, such as Nori sheets

Any of the above could be placed in a bath while you soak in it for at least 20 to 30 minutes. They are detoxifying yet have healing affect as well. Sea greens are very good source of natural salt and minerals that would be quiet healing.

Power of Vinegar and Turmeric

Vinegar is an ancient therapy for many ailments. It has therapeutic effects and is a fermented product. Especially, certain vinegars, such as raw apple cider vinegar is very nutritious while healing and detoxifying the system. It is good to include it in your daily diet plan.

Of course, you could add it to any food, salad or vegetables, but it would be best to take it for its therapeautical  properties in general as follows; take at least 1 to 2 tablespoons daily. Could mix it with water, juice or broth.  For use I n a therapeutic manner, it would be good to consult with a natural health practioner and also determine how long it would be good for you to be taking it.

Turmeric spice is another great one to incorporate in your diet plan. Again, this wonderful spice has great healing properties. It is widely used in Indian and middle eastern cooking for its ability to enhance flavor of foods. Again, for its therapeutical purposes, it is best to incorporate at least 1/2 teaspoon daily ( perhaps more, depending on your particular need at the time). You could mix it with water or take it in capsule form.It is best to consult with a practitioner who could follow you, guide you and evaluate your personal needs at the time. Because the very best things could throw you off if taken at wrong times or if your body does not agree with it.

In general, like I've stated previously, these items are quiet helpful. Do keep in mind that it would be best not to take herbs and spices for too long of a time. Watch for signs and symptoms that your body will be giving you. A typical time for a spice or herb would be anywhere from 10 days to 3 weeks (could vary even there depending on your particular needs). If you take something and feel different--take notice, so you would know how to handle it-- whether it is good or not.

Sunshine and Fresh Air

Absolute need for the body in any condition, especially when the body has issues, would be natural sunshine and fresh air. Nothing can really replace them! The sun will provide optimal levels of vitamin D, but in addition it has other healing properties and energies that can't be measured. Yes, you could take Vitamin D supplements but it would not be the same thing. So, no matter what try to get yourself outside, enjoy the moments and catch some rays. In addition, the natural fresh air and oxygen that comes with that is very healing and reviving for the whole system.

Oxygen is one of the most important factors in our life, yet many of us just simply don't get optimal amounts of it. Being indoors a lot, as a society, we have learned just not to breathe very appropriately and the experience of fresh air may not be reality anymore. Even if it is cold, we still could benefit from that fresh air. So, even if you don't go out make sure that you crack a window and allow for fresh air to come in. Usually, the air that is trapped inside has been evaluated to be at least 10 times more dirty and toxic than outside.

Vitamin D deficiency has been well known among our nation today. Many choose to take supplements for it, one reason being the media or traditional medicine folks advertising  it. There are factors that we need to know about this.

First, the body only recognizes and takes in what is the most natural to it. If it feels unfamiliar, the system simply will recognize it as a foreign matter--which either the body will not absorb and or it will try to get rid of if it (by attacking it which in return will place burden on the system and compromised the immunity). This is a fact which stands true for any vitamin or supplement really. That is why it is best to stick to more whole natural type foods, vitamins, supplements, herbs and spices. Ancient medicine has proven that it works for centuries now. What is made in a laboratory will in, most cases, contain some form of synthetic material that is unknown to the system. What is made naturally from the universe has meant to be for life on earth.

Therefore, taking vitamin D in it's most natural form would be best--sunshine. Next to that would be, whole fresh foods that take in that sunshine and would contain natural amounts of vitamin D 3 which the body is familiar with. Rich green vegetables, any vegetables in general (would contain some), wild fish, clean fish oil (from good trusted source), nuts, seeds and even fruits. All whole foods will contain some amounts of vitamin D but certain ones would have more, such as rich green veggies and wild fish or fish oil.
If going with supplements, again, best would be whole foods, such as whole food supplements, blue green algae or similar type. Then after that a supplement that would be natural not synthetic made from Vitamin D3 would be best option. D2 is the more inferior type which is synthetic and should be avoided.

Another factor to keep in mind is not the amount of vitamin, such as vitamin D, you would take but how healthy your gut and body is to absorb it. If you are not in good health and have issues with your gut flora and such--your body simply may not be able to absorb certain vitamins or minerals, so you would show to be deficient, no matter how much vitamins you would take. That is why the best approach would be to consume all sorts of vitamins, minerals and nutrients through whole foods, so that your body would get just the right amounts in the forms that it not only would recognize to absorb and process but to help balance and heal the system as well. Of course, it would be best to check out the whole system for any health issues as well to make sure.

It is important to keep your gut flora healthy and consume foods that assist with that. All the mentioned foods above are helpful for gut health (especially fermented foods, such as yogurt, tempeh, raw apple cider vinegar, saurkraut, vegetables and fruits).

Other Factors that Lichen Sclerosus Could be Related To

We are living at a time where we are being bombarded with so many chemicals, whether it is in our water, air or environment somehow, it could easily place an effect upon our health. It is important to pay attention to our living environment and try to recognize it's hazards.

Power lines, battery plants, chemical plants and such all can have detrimental effect upon health in long term. There has been many cases that has been seen and recorded with health hazards that would include autoimmune diseases which has taken place with those who have lived close to such areas.

LS is another condition that could have some relations with living too close and being in contact with chemical or mechanical plants for long periods of time. There has been cases and individuals who have approached this subject as such. Not much that I am aware that has been totally proven by form of science--but let's keep in mind that in today's society they do try to keep things wrapped up that do not benefit the masses or political system. That is why we must take note and responsibility for our own well being. I would like to note though that there has been cases that have came down with LS disease whom been in contact of chemical plants in their living situation.

Making sure that the water you and your family are drinking is pure and free of chemicals, chlorine, fluoride, PBC, and such is another very important factor to be aware of. You could check with your water company or the area you live in to see what is in your water. There are filtration systems today that could be very helpful. It is an investment for your health that is worth a while.

Always remember that prevention is the key factor to health and wellbeing. No one can really afford to get ill or diseased--it compromises life quality to a large degree and it is simply not worthed. So, always try to stay educated and up to date with new information and continue with gaining more knowledge about health and wellbeing. Don't forget to put it to practice. Try to live a life more in its nature than outside of it. That is how we were born into this world and that is the best optimal way we are going to keep our health alive and well. Live life to its fullest feeling great and in good health always.

Possible Stem Cell Procedure for LS

I am not too certain how well this has been in treating LS, but there seems to be hope that there is a stem cell procedure that has taken place in Italy. Similar one may be practiced in California (Beverly Hills). It may be a great promise, as for certain individuals who have done the procedure seem to be happy about it. But still yet, I do not know enough about this to share at this time. It sounds like it is available and may be worth looking into. I will bring more to your attention, if I should learn more about it in the future.



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