Lichen Striatus - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
Lichen striatus is a peculiar disorders characterized by asymptomatic rash that consists of small raised bumps. It is a rare, benign, self-limited linear dermatosis of unknown origin that predominantly affects children. Lichen striatus is clinically diagnosed on the basis of its appearance and characteristic developmental pattern following the lines of Blaschko. It presents as pink raised spots that join together to form one or more dull red slightly scaly linear bands. It usually involves the arms and legs, but can affect any part of the body. Females are affected two to three times more than males. This condition most commonly occurs in children between five and ten years of age. Although lichen striatus is rare in both infants and adults, the disease can occur in persons of any age. Lesions usually do not cause irritation, but at times itching is intense. Spontaneous involution occurs.
- The exact cause is unknown, but the disorder is likely to be related to an allergic or immune reaction.
- Atopy may be a predisposing factor. Patients with lichen striatus may have a family history of atopic dermatitis, asthma, or allergic rhinitis.
- An autoimmune response may also be involved. A case of lichen striatus has been reported during pregnancy
- Lichen striatus is not dangerous or contagious i.e. it does not spread from person to person.
- The disorder has been known to develop after exposure to potential allergens such as medications, dyes, and other chemical substances.
- Lichen Striatus has been known to occur with the spring and summer being the most common. Endemic out breaks have been reported.
- The most important symptom is Itching in the location of a lesion. The itching can vary from mild to severe.
- The lesions usually located on the inner areas of the wrist, legs, torso or genitals.
- Lichen Striatus is a skin disordered which with small bumps but over a period of days expands to form a long streak or band of affected peculiar skin.
- The band is usually 2mm to 2cm in width and may be a few centimeters in length or may extend the entire length of the limb.
- Occasionally nails may be affected, sometimes without any skin lesions. They become thick, ridged and split.
- Usually no treatment is needed. Because lichen striatus is a self-limited disorder and because the lesions spontaneously regress within 3 -12 months.
- If you have mouth lesions, lidocaine mouth washes may numb the area temporarily and make eating more comfortable.
- Emollients or topical steroids may be used to help treat dryness and if there is any present.
- Cortisone creams and ointments may also be helpful in reducing the bands or spots from skin.
- Occlusive dressings may be placed over topical medications to protect the skin from scratching.
- Lichen striatus of the nail may indicate a protracted course. Nail involvement resolves spontaneously without deformity within 30 months.
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