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Lichen Striatus - Symptoms and Treatment

Lichen striatus is a rash that consists of small raised bumps. It usually involves the arms and legs, but can affect any part of the body. This condition does not result in any itching or other symptom. The rashes presents as pink raised spots that join together to form one or more dull red slightly scaly linear bands. It most commonly occurs in children between five and ten years of age. The band formed is generally two mm to two cm in width and might be a few cm in length or might extend to the entire length of the limb. At times two parallel bands may be formed. Lesions may occur on one arm or leg and can also affect the neck or trunk. Generally there are no symptoms but patients might complain of slight or severe itching. This condition generally affects young children. This condition is generally seen in children below the age of sixteen but can also occur in adults. It is a rare and a benign disease. This skin disorder can be easily diagnosed by the doctor. In most of the cases blood test is not required and the diagnosis can be made on the spot. This condition is neither contagious nor dangerous and whoever has suffered from this condition has made a full recovery and no complications have been reported. It starts in a similar way as lichen planus with small bumps but over a period of time it expands to form a long streak or band of affected skin. It is an asymptomatic condition but mild itching might also be present occasionally.

Causes of Lichen Striatus

Common Causes of Lichen Striatus :

  • The cause is unknown.
  • Approx.85% of patients with lichen striatus have a family history of atopic dermatitis , asthma, or allergic rhinitis .
  • The lichen striatus, may be caused by lesion on the skin or in the mouth.
  • It appears as raised, many-sided purple bumps (violaceous polygonal papules) with overlying white lines (Wickham's striae).
  • It may be associated with several other disorders , most notably hepatitis C .
  • The cause of lichen striatus is unknown. Possibly genetic factors or environmental triggers have a role to play in its development.
  • Lichen striatus is not dangerous or contagious (does not spread from person to person).

Symptoms of Lichen Striatus

Some common Symptoms of Lichen Striatus :

  • Itching.
  • Dry mouth.
  • The skin lesions are usually located on the inner areas of the wrist, legs, torso, or genitals .
  • The blisters or ulcers may be seen over the affected area.
  • Narrowing of the opening.
  • Loss of vulval features, labia, clitoris.
  • Inflammation and sometimes swelling.

Treatment of Lichen Striatus

  • Ultraviolet light therapy may also be useful .
  • Antihistamines is found to be very effective in the treatment of lichen striatus.
  • Emollients or topical steroids may be used to help treat dryness or itching.
  • Topical corticosteroids (such as triamcinolone acetonide cream) or oral corticosteroids (such as prednisone) are found very effective in the reduction of inflammation.
  • Because lichen striatus is a self-limited disorder and because the lesions spontaneously regress within 3 -12 months, no treatment is needed. The patient and family should be reassured.
  • Cortisone creams and ointments
  • There is no effective treatment for lichen striatus and in most cases none is necessary. It usually resolves within 6 months but may leave temporary pale or dark marks.








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