Lichen striatus

Lichen striatus

Chris Schach

Author Bio -


Key Points
*Uncommon skin condition, typically affecting a single leg or arm
*Exact cause is unknown, but may develop due to genetic or environmental factors
*Initially consists of a rash of pink, elevated spots, which may coalesce to form red, linear bands which may be scaly

Lichen striatus is an uncommon skin condition, a self-resolving skin rash which typically appears on one leg or arm, though it may affect the neck or torso. It initially consists of a rash of pink, elevated spots. These spots coalesce into band(s) in the affected area which are a dull red color and linear in pattern. Bands may cover the length of the affected limb, or remain small. Infrequently, the nails may be affected. In these cases, lesions do not appear and nails become ridged and thick, and may split or even fall off. Lichen striatus is typically asymptomatic, though it may be accompanied by mild to severe itching.

The exact cause of lichen striatus is unknown. The condition may appear due to genetic or environmental factors. Most cases develop in children between 5 and 15, though it may also appear in adults. Females are also more likely to develop the condition than males. The condition is rare in adults.

Differential Diagnosis (Other conditions with similar appearance)
Lichen Nitidus
Lichen Planus
Lichen Simplex Chronicus
Psoriasis, Plaque
Warts, Nongenital

    Key Points
    *Diagnosis based on appearance of the affected area
    *Skin biopsy may be performed to confirm diagnosis and rule out other conditions

    Lichen striatus is typically diagnosed based on the characteristic appearance of the affected area. A skin biopsy may be performed to confirm diagnosis and to rule out other, similar appearing conditions.

    *Treatment is typically unnecessary as the condition is self-resolving
    *Primary goal of treatment is control of symptoms
    *Prescription therapies may be recommended in some cases
    OTC Options: emollient creams

    Lichen striatus does not typically require treatment, as the condition will usually resolve itself within 6 months. When treatment is recommended, the goal is generally to control symptoms. Health care professionals may recommend use of OTC emollient creams to relieve itching and dryness in the affected area. In some cases, topical steroids or pimecrolimus cream may be prescribed to assist in clearing lesions.

    Related Images

    View the embedded image gallery online at: