I have been complaining to my GP for years about symptoms in my mouth and vaginal areas and he's always said 'it's nothing' or 'maybe a yeast infection that's already cleared' or 'I don't see anything'.
I stopped going, I was sick of his condescending and throwaway attitude.
I treated my symptoms with home remedies without a clue as to what it could be. I'd never heard of Lichen Planus and assumed it must be an undiagnosed STD... that somehow didn't show up on tests.
About a year ago a coworker was often out to the doctor, getting tests etc. she wouldn't talk about it, until she was finally diagnosed: Lichen Planus. By this time I pretty much had my symptoms under control, or I could just put them out of my mind, only stressing me out in the middle of the night with many tears.
A few months ago I got vaginal discharge I'd never experienced before: green. I immediately went to the walk-in clinic. The doctor ran STD tests and nothing came up. During my follow-up exam he said he didn't know what it could be and referred me to a gynecologist. The gyno did some more tests and has been cancelling my 6-week follow up appointments: last week's and tomorrow's.
After following some of my gyno's advice regarding switching products and sleeping sans undies, my vaginal symptoms went away completely. REJOICE! So I thought: hey, that's all it was, I'll get a brazillian!! Big mistake. The symptoms returned not 2 days after getting my wax and have waned briefly only when applying 2 drops of oregano oil in a base of coconut oil. (My old stand-by home remedy). But even that's not working like it used to - I used to only have to do one or two applications, but I've done it three times now (once a day) and my symptoms have returned.
The oral, vaginal and scalp symptoms I experienced sounded a lot like the ones my coworker had described, but I couldn't for the life of me remember what it was. So despite my embarrassment and trepidation, I asked her.
After reading up on Lichen Planus, I have even more of the symptoms of it than I thought I did: I have small indentations/depressions in some of my nails, I get rashes on my ankles and wrists, I get little pustules on my head, lesions on the sides of my tongue at the back and large round bumps on the back of my tongue and throat. Not to mention the severe vaginal itchiness, insistent urge to urinate and pelvic pain. Sex, I've found.. also painful.
Reading up some more, it seems that some strains are hereditary. Which immediately made me think of my father's itchy ankles and severely messed up fingernails.
Thanks for reading my story. Any advice/support is much appreciated. I just needed to get it all out. I feel like crying buckets but from looking at pictures I know I have a milder case of it and I'm grateful for that. Can it get worse over time? I don't have a dermatologist or a naturopath. I live in canada, so mainstream doctor visits are covered, but naturopathy is not.
My coworker is seeing a naturopath and has been advised to take St Francis' immune supplement. Any advise regarding topical vaginal treatment as well as general autoimmune treatment would be much appreciated. I'll be sure to read through some other postings specifically with regards to answering those questions.
Thanks again for taking the time to read my post. Feeling very alone.
Hi Canadian - I mainly have vaginal LP, so I will be giving you some pointers specifically about that here. First thing is that I would strongly advise against any immune supplements!! Since LP is an auto-immune disease, your immune system is already overactive and therefore attacks healthy cells in your body. This is what I have been advised by my specialty gyn, and my Chinese doctor. Only when I feel a cold or so coming on do I take some supplements like echinacea or Umcka.
I would also strongly suggest to seek out a gyn who specializes in vulvar diseases to tackle the vaginal symptoms. Because if not treated aggressively in the beginning, they can lead to serious problems. I am taking the steroid cream Clobetasol once a day (used to be twice a day, but symptoms got better), and also Hydrocortisone Acetate suppositories - 2 every other day into my vagina (they are usually used anally, but are used vaginally for this purpose). Used to be every night, but symptoms there have also gotten better.
Also, buy a set of dilators. I don't know if you have erosive LP in your vagina, but if you do, then the danger is that your vagina slowly closes up due to the scarring over of the lost tissue. I had extremely horrible pain during sex, and something needed to happen besides the meds, so I finally bought a dilator set. I use it at least 5 times a week, lubing each dilator extensively with a PH-balanced lube (no lube with silicone!!) for 20-30 mins. There are 5 different sizes. One needs to stretch the vagina, since LP tightens it not only with the loss of tissue and the scarring over, but also the muscles when you are not "using" your vagina enough due to the pain. I was fortunate enough to be able to start with the 3rd size of dilators, but that was painful in the beginning. Now I'm at the 4th size. So, as a woman, it is crucial to treat vaginal LP aggressively! And try to get a specialist.
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