Lichen Sclerosus Diet: Foods to Eat and Foods to Avoid
What Is Lichen Sclerosus?
The word “lichen” means fungus or mold. There are different types of lichens, which include: Phyllostachys (blue-green algae), Chlamydomonas (shrimp shells), Rhodophyta (rainbow fish eggs) and Corysthes (mushroom caps). All these types of lichens have similar properties. They are able to trap water vapor and retain it in their cells. When they get too dry, they start releasing this moisture back into the air where it can cause problems such as asthma attacks, allergies and other respiratory issues.
There are several kinds of lichens that can affect your health. Some of them are listed below:
Phyllostachys blue-green algae causes skin rashes, itching and irritation. It’s also known as “blue green alga”.
Blue-Green Algae is one of the most common types of lichen found in the environment. Its name comes from its color – it looks like a bright greenish purple when seen under ultraviolet light. This type of algae grows very rapidly and can easily become a nuisance.
Chlamydomonas is a green one-celled organism that causes respiratory and skin problems. It’s also known as “Shrimp shells”.
The Chlamydomonas is the smallest type of algae that grows in water. Its presence in water sources can have serious health ramifications, such as respiratory issues, throat irritation, skin rash, etc. This one-celled organism is ultra-microscopic in size. Chlamydomonas can grow very quickly if exposed to favorable conditions, such as a lot of water, sunlight, and nutrients.
Rhodophyta is also known as “rainbow fish eggs”. It is a red-colored algae that can cause skin irritation and infection.
In extreme cases, the skin may suffer from permanent scarring. The red brightly colored Rhodophyta looks like a red powder or dust and may produce a strong fishy smell.
Corysthes is a type of mushroom that can cause severe irritation in the eyes. This is mainly due to its toxic spores, which can also cause respiratory issues.
The Corysthes are commonly found on grassy fields and meadows. It’s not considered as harmful as other types of lichens, but it can still pose some dangers if not taken seriously.
The appearance of one type of lichen is usually different from person to person. However, in general, it appears as a fine dusting on the skin, mostly on areas that are subjected to friction, such as the groin, inside the thighs, under the arms and the skin folds of the knees and elbows.
This fungus can also spread within several body parts, such as within the throat (causing sore throat), lungs (causing respiratory issues) and the gastrointestinal tract.
Severe forms of this fungus can also cause the skin to thicken (this is called fibrosis). This can cause issues with movement, as the affected body parts become stiff and immobile.
The affected areas may also become discolored, resulting in light or dark patches on the skin. In some cases, these patches are not only itchy but may also be painful to the touch.
If you experience any of the above mentioned symptoms, it is highly advised that you seek medical attention immediately.
Antifungal drugs are used to combat this condition. The drugs work by eliminating the fungus from your body and preventing its growth and spread.
While this type of drug has serious side effects and may cause allergic reactions in some, it is still considered as the primary treatment for onychomycosis.
Other treatment options include topical application of azole drugs, which are known to be effective in treating this condition. As with the antifungal drugs, topical azole drugs also have their own set of side effects.
In very serious cases, doctors may recommend surgical removal of the affected toenails, as this is currently the most reliable way to get rid of this condition. As a preventative measure, people who are susceptible to this condition should keep their feet dry and clean. Keeping your feet dry can be achieved by wearing moisture-wicking socks. Keeping them clean can be done by washing them with soap and water on a regular basis. If the affected individual is diabetic, he or she should get their blood sugar levels checked regularly, as diabetes has been known to be a contributing factor to onychomycosis.
In the event that you experience allergic reactions when taking antifungal drugs, your doctor may recommend a slightly different treatment approach. Your physician may give you an injection of a corticosteroid drug, which is often more effective in treating allergic reactions than the orally taken drug.
However, this type of drug has serious side effects and can be damaging to the health, especially if used for a long period of time. As such, it is not a recommended treatment method.
As with any condition, early detection can greatly improve your health as well as your overall prognosis. If you find that your toenail has turned black or has started to fall off, it’s best to seek medical attention immediately.
In some cases, it can take years before a toenail fungus spreads throughout the entire body. As such, people with a family history of onychomycosis should keep a watchful eye on their toenails on a regular basis.
One of the most common symptoms of this condition is extreme pain caused by an ingrown toenail. In order to alleviate this condition, doctors may perform minor surgery in order to relieve pressure and prevent the condition from worsening.
This is a common after effect of an infected toenail and should immediately seek medical attention if you experience this set of symptoms.
As with any type of condition, it is best to take precautionary measures in preventing the spread and growth of fungi. Most people are aware that their feet produce sweat, which contains salt and other minerals.
As such, it is often recommended that people wash and dry their feet on a regular basis. Furthermore, doctors also recommend the use of moisture-wicking socks in order to prevent the growth of fungi on feet.
Another preventative measure is keeping your feet from being soaked in water for extended periods of time. This may be difficult for swimmers or surfers, as both sports often require people to spend extended periods of time in wet environments.
As such, swimmers and surfers are at a higher risk of developing this condition. It is for this reason that many surfing and swimming organizations have begun to provide their athletes with free antifungal treatments, in order to prevent the spread of serious fungal infections.
In diagnosing a toenail fungus, your podiatrist will perform a visual examination of your toenails. He or she will also take a sample of your nail in order to run laboratory tests to determine the cause of the infection.
Podiatrists can treat fungal infections by using prescription antifungal pills or topical treatments, such as creams or ointments. In the event that a patient is allergic to the orally taken drug, your doctor may inject you with a corticosteroid, which helps alleviate allergic reactions caused by the orally taken medication.
In the event that the infection has spread to the point where your toenail has turned black, your podiatrist may have to remove and replace the nail with an artificial one. This is a relatively new method of treatment and is only used in severe cases.
Surgery is rarely used as a form of treatment and is only recommended when a patient’s condition becomes life-threatening. In these cases, your podiatrist will have to remove the infected area in order to alleviate the condition.
Without treatment, a toenail fungus can lead to serious complications, including:
Bacterial Infections: As a fungal infection weakens the body’s natural defenses, it can leave you susceptible to bacterial infections. In the event that the infection reaches the bones, muscles, or even the heart, you run the risk of death.
Abscesses: In the event that a toenail fungus remains untreated, it can lead to the development of pus-filled abscesses. These pus-filled lumps often lead to severe pain and discomfort.
In the worst-case scenario, these abscesses can eat away at your bones and may even require amputation.
Yellow Nails: If left untreated, a toenail fungus can turn your nails a yellow color. As discussed above, a yellow toenail is often a sign that you have a weakened immune system and a greater risk of fungal infections in other parts of your body.
Toxicity: In the event that your toenail fungus leads to an abscess, your podiatrist may have to remove parts of your foot in order to alleviate the condition. As this process often involves the use of a saw or a drill, you run the risk of toxic shock syndrome (TSS).
This is a rare but life-threatening condition that can cause your body’s blood pressure to drop dramatically.
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