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Efficacy of topical curcumin in the management of oral lichen planus – A pilot study

Author: 
Anuradha Pai and Hemcle Shalma Ganesan
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

Background: Lichen Planus is an inflammatory, immune mediated, mucocutaneous disease of unknown aetiology, characterized by alternating periods of symptomatic remission and exacerbation. Different treatment modalities have been tried, but with limited success. Due to the lack of a definitive treatment and the side effects of current treatments, efforts are still being made to find new treatment modalities. Steroids have been found to be the first line of drugs in treating symptomatic Oral Lichen Planus (OLP) by reducing pain and inflammation however with potential side effects. Application of topical Curcumin can be suggested for treatment of OLP because of its desirable anti- inflammatory, analgesic, antimicrobial, anti – tumour properties and insignificant side effects. Aim: To compare the efficacy of topical Curcumin with 0.1% Triamcinolone Acetonide in the treatment of OLP. Materials and Methods: The research group consisted of 20 adult OLP patients, who were randomly divided into two groups. The control group (n = 10) was treated with Triamcinolone Acetonide 0.1% and the study group (n = 10) with commercially available topical Curcumin ointment each to be applied thrice daily for 2 weeks. The patients were reviewed every week for two weeks. Results: Data was analyzed using SPSS v.22 software IBM., Corp. The intergroup comparison using independent student t test showed significant improvement in the pain (P = 0.001) and erythema (P =0.02), but non-significant reduction in ulceration (P = 0.05) in the study group as compared to the control group. Intragroup comparison using repeated measures of ANOVA followed by Bonferroni’s Post hoc analysis showed statistically significant reduction in the pain(P=0.001) and erythema(P=0.001) in both the groups. Conclusion: Topical application of Curcumin can bring about clinical improvements in OLP patients. It could be considered as an alternative treatment of OLP with fewer side effects compared to steroids. However further studies with larger sample size and follow up periods may be required.

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