At a glance - Lichen striatus

AETIOLOGY
- Cause unknown but it is currently thought that a combination of
genetic and environmental factors play a part.
- Might occur at any time of life but most commonly between five and 15
years of age.
- Rare.

SYMPTOMS
- Small smooth or scaly or flat topped, pink papules initially.
- After a week or two these papules join to form a dull red, scaly
linear streak, 1-2 cm wide.
- Most common on the limbs but sometimes present on the trunk.
- Streak may extend the full length of the limb.
- Usually symptomless but occasionally it will cause itching.
- A nail may be affected, rarely, with longitudinal ridging, thickening
and splitting.

DIAGNOSIS
- Determined by the appearance of the lesion.

MANAGEMENT
- Spontaneous resolution occurs after about six months.
- Normally, no treatment required.
- Itchy or dry skin may be helped by emollients and a topical steroid.
- Resolution might be followed by post-inflammatory hypo- or
hyperpigmentation that can take month or years to clear.

- Contributed by Dr Jean Watkins, a GP in Ringwood, Hampshire.

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