Lichen Simplex Chronicus – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

by andywalsh | March 27, 2019 1:17 am

Lichen simplex chronicus is a peculiar disorder of the skin. It is also known as Circumscribed Neurodermatitis or localized scratch dermatitis. Lichen Simplex Chronicus (LSC) is a condition created by the habitual scratching of a certain area such as the neck or legs. It can occur at any age, but it is more common in adults. Typically it appears as patches of thickened itchy skin. These thickened patches may occur anywhere on the body. Lichen Simplex Chronicus is seen in people with eczema. Although eczema can affect the whole body, the eruption of LSC in usually found in one area. The nerve endings in this area are irritable and trigger an itch-scratch-itch cycle.

The more the eruption is scratched or rubbed, the more it itches, continuing the cycle. Diagnosis is by examination. A fully developed plaque has an outer zone of discrete, brownish papules and a central zone of confluent papules covered with scales. Look-alike conditions include tinea corporis, lichen planus, and psoriasis; lichen simplex chronicus can be distinguished from these by potassium hydroxide wet mount and biopsy. Primary treatment is patient education about the effects of scratching and rubbing. Secondary treatment is topical corticosteroids (eg, triamcinolone acetonide, fluocinonide ); surgical tape impregnated with flurandrenolide (applied in the morning and replaced in the evening) may be preferred because occlusion prevents scratching. Small areas may be locally infiltrated (intralesional injections) with a long-acting corticosteroid such as triamcinolone Some Trade Names acetonide 2.5 mg/mL (diluted with saline), 0.3 mL/cm 2 of lesion; treatment can be repeated q 3 to 4 wk. Oral H 1 -blocking antihistamines may be useful.

Lichen simplex chronicus is a chronic inflammation of the skin (dermatitis) characterized by small, round itchy spots that thicken and become leathery as a result of scratching. Neurodermatitis isn’t serious but breaking the itch-scratch cycle can be challenging. Successful treatment depends on identifying and eliminating factors that may be aggravating the problem. Over-the-counter and prescription creams can help. Once the scratching stops, it can take months for the skin to return to normal. Lichen simplex chronicus also known as neurodermatitis circumscripta, is an itchy skin condition causing thickened skin at the areas of skin injured by repeated scratching and rubbing.

Lichen simplex chronicus is not a primary disease but rather the skin’s response to chronic physical injury (trauma).  The gradual thickening of skin, caused by repetitive scratching and rubbing, is called lichenification. Lichen simplex chronicus begins as itchy skin.  Itching leads to scratching and rubbing, which causes thickening of skin.  Thickened skin is itchy, which causes more scratching and thus more skin thickening.

Causes of Lichen Simplex Chronicus

Find common causes and risk factors of Lichen Simplex Chronicus:

Signs and Symptoms of Lichen Simplex Chronicus

Sign and symptoms may include the following:

Treatment for Lichen Simplex Chronicus

Treatment may include:

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