Skin lichen caused by pathogenic fungi primarily affects the skin and mucous membranes in humans . If the immune system is intact, the prognosis is usually positive.
What are skin lichen?
Skin lichen is an infectious disease. In medicine, skin lichen is one of the so-called mycoses. Skin lichen is caused by various parasitic fungi. A skin lichen can affect both the skin and the mucous membranes of a person.
If the parasitic fungi grow or multiply in the human body, this is often associated with typical symptoms of skin lichen. These symptoms of skin ringworm include, for example, growth rings that can be seen on an affected person’s skin. Such growth rings as a symptom of skin ringworm are often surrounded by reddish papules.
However, a skin lichen can also develop without any external symptoms; in medicine, such a symptom-free skin lichen is also referred to as inapparent skin lichen. Depending on the patient and the causative agent of skin lichen, the infectious disease can take a chronic course in some cases.
According to AbbreviationFinder.org, a superficial skin ringworm is usually caused by an infection with dermatophytes (thread fungi). Such infection can be person-to-person; the fungal spores, which can lead to skin lichen, are transmitted by skin flakes.
A skin lichen of the mucous membranes, on the other hand, is usually caused by fungi belonging to the genus called Candida. The occurrence of a skin lichen of the mucous membranes is often favored by a weakened immune system of the affected person. Such a weakened immune system can be caused, for example, by immune deficiency diseases, recent transplants or medical measures such as chemotherapy.
If a skin lichen occurs as a result of a weakened immune system, this is also referred to as an opportunistic infection – the weakening of the immune system allows the fungus to grow.
Symptoms, Ailments & Signs
A typical symptom of skin lichen is growth rings that appear on the skin after the onset of the disease and are surrounded by nodules or vesicles. The affected areas are sensitive to touch and slightly reddened. Often the papules itch or hurt and cause severe discomfort in the patient.
Some skin patches shed or completely shed as the disease progresses. Certain forms can cause wet patches or even bleeding. If treated incorrectly or not at all, these areas can become inflamed and lead to the development of ulcers. The skin lichen itself is normally unproblematic.
They appear within a few hours and usually last for a few days to weeks before going away on their own. In particular, allergic skin lichen causes only mild symptoms and is generally harmless. If the skin lichen is based on an initial disease, further complications may occur.
Particularly aggressive pathogens can lead to chronic skin lichen. Those affected then often suffer from the typical symptoms for months or even several years. In the long term, the disease also places a great deal of strain on the psyche. Many of those affected develop social anxiety, inferiority complexes or depression.
Diagnosis & History
A typical papule formation on the skin or mucous membranes of an affected person can already lead to the suspected diagnosis of skin lichen by a dermatologist (specialist in skin diseases). A skin flake that is removed and examined under a microscope can be used to confirm the suspected diagnosis of skin lichen.
In a further step, to determine the exact type of fungus that has led to skin lichen, a so-called laboratory culture (breeding) of the pathogen can be created. Once the culture has fully developed, it can, among other things, provide information on effective medicinal treatment of skin lichen.
As a rule, skin lichen takes a positive course with early medical treatment. In some cases, however, it is also possible that the skin lichen shows a chronic course.
Depending on the severity and localization, skin lichen can have a major impact on the everyday life of those affected. This is the case, for example, when the ringworm spreads on the hands and fingers or the skin is particularly flaky, reddened and no longer regenerates. It is above all the psychological stress that is underestimated, but can be very high.
Constant itching and the embarrassment of the scaly patches of skin make life difficult for those affected and can lead to psychological complications. This occurs above all when the disease takes a chronic course and keeps coming back or does not subside. Then the only thing left to do is try to alleviate the symptoms. #
A complete cure is not possible with chronic skin eczema. In five to twenty percent of cases of skin lichen, diseases of the joints with severe pain occur. Since it is often triggered by a weakened immune system, complications can also occur here.
Further infections and secondary diseases can occur and negatively affect the skin lichen in its healing process. Ringworm can also spread throughout the body, even causing blood poisoning and heart problems. Then treatment in the hospital becomes inevitable.
When should you go to the doctor?
If dandruff is suspected, various anti-dandruff products can be used first. If these have no effect or if other symptoms appear, it makes sense to see a doctor. Reddening of the skin, itching or papules require medical clarification, especially if there is accompanying inflammation or bleeding. If pustules are noticed, you should go to the family doctor on the same day.
In the case of serious complications such as infections or circulatory problems, immediate examination and treatment is indicated. If left untreated, skin tags can spread to the entire body and even lead to heart problems and chronic diseases of the internal organs. Chronic dermatitis requires close monitoring by a specialist.
In addition to the general practitioner, a dermatologist or a specialist in internal diseases can be consulted. Patients suffering from a disease of the internal organs, the immune system or the thyroid gland should speak to the responsible doctor. If the dandruff occurs as part of chemotherapy, it is best to inform the doctor responsible as well.
Treatment & Therapy
As a rule, doctors first recommend local therapy for skin lichen. Local treatment of skin lichen is carried out by applying locally effective active ingredients to the part of the body that is affected by skin lichen.
In contrast to a so-called systemic therapy, in which the absorbed active substances (e.g. in the form of injections) also enter the bloodstream, a local therapy of the skin ringworm is usually associated with comparatively fewer side effects. Suitable medicinal forms for applying local active ingredients to the skin include ointments or creams.
If mucous membranes are affected by skin lichen, local therapy (depending on the location of the affected mucous membrane) can also be carried out using juices or suppositories, for example. Which medications are suitable for the local treatment of skin lichen in individual cases depends primarily on the type of fungus on which skin lichen is based.
A systemic treatment of the skin ringworm with antifungal drugs ( antimycotics ) usually only occurs after unsuccessful local therapy. In severe cases of skin lichen, a therapy that combines locally and systemically applied active ingredients may also be necessary.
Outlook & Forecast
The prognosis of skin ringworm is favorable in most people. With a stable and healthy immune system, patients normally experience rapid healing. Often, an otherwise healthy person does not need medical care, since the body’s own defense system kills the pathogens independently and removes them from the body. Treatment should be given to people who have other illnesses or whose immune system is not fully resilient due to natural conditions.
The healing process is improved if those affected consult a doctor as soon as the first changes to the skin or mucous membranes occur. This enables a quick diagnosis and start of treatment. The risk groups of a weakened immune system include, in addition to sick people, infants, children and the elderly in particular.
The sooner they begin treatment, the faster recovery will occur. The triggering fungus and other pathogens that promote the spread of skin ringworm must be prevented from further multiplication. This is the only way to stop the progression of the lichen.
For recovery, the wound healing process must also be monitored. Inflammation or open wounds can cause complications that should be prevented. In severe cases, the patient is at risk of sepsis. Blood poisoning can lead to premature death.
Skin lichen can be prevented above all by a strengthened body’s immune system. If the immune system is intact, the human body is usually able to successfully fight the fungi that cause skin lichen. In order to avoid aggravation of symptoms when skin lichen has already occurred, an early visit to the doctor and the associated early treatment of the skin lichen can be useful.
Skin lichen can be treated successfully in the majority of cases. In most cases, even the body’s own defense system is sufficient. Experience has shown that there is no need to see a doctor at all. In many cases, follow-up examinations are not used at all.
The situation is different in patients with a weakened immune system. Therapy can take a long time under certain circumstances. This is particularly the case when the disease develops chronically. First, the skin lichen is determined microscopically by a dermatologist. This is followed by drug treatment.
The doctor accompanies the patient as part of the aftercare. This is intended to avoid complications and to provide the affected person with support in their everyday life. After a successfully treated skin ringworm, the body does not build up immunity. Reinfection is possible. However, patients can take their own steps to prevent infection.
These are not directly accompanied by a doctor because they affect the individual everyday life. However, those affected receive information on how to protect themselves. The best preventive measure is a strengthened immune system. Sufficient exercise and a healthy diet strengthen the body. Anyone who decides on early treatment also benefits. Because skin lichen can be combated most effectively in the early stages.
You can do that yourself
Skin eczema requires medical treatment in any case. Depending on the cause, medical therapy can be supported by self-help measures and various home and natural remedies.
In many cases, daily washing of the affected skin with lemon balm or chamomile tea helps. Lukewarm poultices with tar bran or healing earth soothe the skin and relieve itching, as do cooling compresses and moist pads.
A paste made from honey and chopped garlic, which is applied to the affected area, has also proven effective. Buttermilk compresses help with classic psoriasis. In addition, envelopes with medicinal plants and herbs such as hay flowers, sage, thyme and juniper can be used.
Skin eczema as a result of an acute or chronic skin disease can also be counteracted with a medicinal plant: the wild pansy. Applied in the form of an infusion, the flavonoids and saponins it contains stimulate the metabolism and relieve itching.
A change in lifestyle is advisable for the causal treatment of skin lichen. A healthy diet rich in vitamins and minerals and regular exercise can effectively reduce the pathological skin changes. Stress as one of the main triggers can be combated by various methods such as progressive muscle relaxation or autogenic training. In the long term and in the case of recurring symptoms, psychotherapy can also be useful.