Print Page | Sign In
Lichen Striatus
Share |

Lichen striatus is a fairly common, self limited, unilateral (single sided) eruption with a linear shape. Girls out number boys 2 to 1; the mean age at diagnosis is 3 years (6 months to 14 years). Discrete, red or flesh-colored, flat-topped, thickened papules with scale erupt suddenly, then combine in several areas to form a linear band that may extend the entire length of an extremity. The 1 to 3 mm papules form a band 1 to 3 cm wide, either continuous or interrupted, that progress down the extremity. In darker skinned individuals white or light marks predominate.

Lesions extending to the upper nail fold affect the nail. Sometimes the nail alone may be involved for months before the appearance of a linear band extending up the extremity. Extremities are most often involved, but may extend from the trunk to the extremity. Lesions usually do not cause irritation, but at times itching is intense. Spontaneous involution occurs. The mean duration is 9.5 months (4 weeks to 3 years). Temporary darkening of the skin follows resolution in 50% of cases. A biopsy is useful when the diagnosis is in doubt. Lesions can be resistant to treatment.

There have been reported cases in siblings. Also seasonal variation has been known to occur with the spring and summer being the most common. Endemic out breaks have been reported. These features suggest viral cause but this has not been identified.

Application of topical steroids may help this condition, but sometimes intralesional steroids are more effective. Several courses of treatment may be necessary.

Back to Index

The medical information provided in this site is for educational purposes only and is the property of the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice and shall not create a physician - patient relationship. If you have a specific question or concern about a skin lesion or disease, please consult a dermatologist. Any use, re-creation, dissemination, forwarding or copying of this information is strictly prohibited unless expressed written permission is given by the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology.

2902 North Baltimore Street | P.O. Box 7525 | Kirksville, Missouri 63501

660-665-2184 | 1-800-449-2623 | 660-627-2623

General Terms of Use Policy
The AOCD web site and AOCD apps contain copyrighted material and other proprietary information, which may include, but is not limited to: text, software, photos, video, graphics and audio. It is not permitted to modify, publish, transmit, participate in the transfer or sale, create derivative works, or in any way exploit any of the content, in whole or in part.

The AOCD limits permission for downloading education material for personal use only.