Objective: To compare the efficacy of aloe vera gel and placebo in the topical management of vulval lichen planus.
Study design: Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.
Place and duration of study: Department of Dermatology, Isra University Hospital, Hyderabad, from January 2007 to January 2008.
Methodology: Thirty-four female patients were randomized into two groups to receive aloe vera gel or placebo for local application for 8 weeks. Clinical data and treatment response was graded according to Thongprasom criteria. Z-test was used for comparing response between the groups.
Results: Thirty-four consecutive patients participated in the study. We found erosive and ulcerative lesions in 83% and 17%, respectively. The most common site of vulval lichen planus was the labia minora. Fourteen (82%) out of 17 patients treated with aloe vera had a good response i.e. clinically improved by at least 50% after 8 weeks of treatment, while one (5%) of 17 placebo-treated patients had a similar response (p < 0.001). Furthermore, one patient (5%) treated with aloe vera had a complete clinical remission. No side-effects were found in both groups.
Conclusion: Aloe vera gel was a safe and effective treatment for patients with vulval lichen planus.