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Lichen simplex chronicus

  • Treatment

    The primary treatment is to stop scratching the skin. This may include counseling to become aware of the importance of not scratching, stress management, or behavior modification.

    The itching and inflammation may be treated with a lotion or steroid cream applied to the affected area of the skin. Peeling ointments, such as those containing salicylic acid, may be used on thickened lesions. Soaps or lotions containing coal tar may be recommended.

    Dressings that moisturize, cover, and protect the area may be used with or without medication creams. They are left in place for a week or more at a time.

    Antihistamines, sedatives, or tranquilizers may be needed to reduce itching and stress. Steroids may be injected directly into lesions to reduce itching and inflammation.

    Patients who have an emotional component to their lichen simplex chronicus may need antidepressants and tranquilizers.

    Support Groups

    Expectations (prognosis)

    You can control lichen simplex chronicus by reducing stress and scratching less. The condition may return or change sites.

    • Bacterial skin infection
    • Permanent changes in skin color
    • Permanent scar

    Calling your health care provider

    Call your health care provider if:

    • Symptoms get worse
    • You develop new symptoms, especially signs of skin infection such as pain, redness or drainage from the lesion, or fever