Background. Oral lichen planus (OLP) and one of its main presentations, desquamative gingivitis, are common diseases with no definite treatment. Zinc deficiency has a critical role in the pathogenesis of oral mucosal diseases. The current study systematically reviewed the effect of zinc in addition to topical corticosteroids in the treatment of OLP.
Methods. English articles in PubMed, Web of Sciences, Embase, and Scopus were searched until August 2022. The differences in symptoms were analyzed, including pain, burning sensation, and lesion sizes in patients with lichen planus receiving zinc supplementation as an adjuvant to corticosteroid treatment.
Results. A total of 148 articles related to the searched keywords were found. Eventually, two clinical trials were selected. The total population of studied individuals included 60 patients. Due to the high heterogeneity between the studies, meta-analysis was not possible. Administering zinc, in addition to corticosteroids, did not improve the symptoms compared to corticosteroid monotherapy.
Conclusion. Considering the limited number of studies and lack of sufficient evidence, it is not currently possible to reach a definite conclusion regarding the effects of zinc on OLP.