Lichen Simplex Chronicus

Lichen simplex chronicus (LSC)

litchenification (thickening of the skin) in certain sensitised persons, caused by pruritus and the resulting neurotic excoriations (self-inflicted lesions) produced by repetitive scratching.

Levels of scaling are often evident.

LSC occurs more commonly in females aged 30-55 years.

LSC often commences at or just above the central occipital hair margin.  With continued intensity of pruritus and resultant excoriation the lesion may extend across the nuchal region. Secondary infection is rare but not unknown.

Hair dyes in popular use containing: para-phenylenediamine (black), para-toluenediamine (brown), ortho-phenylenediamine (brown), para-aminophenol (reddish brown) ortho-aminophenol (light brown) may act as sensitisers to the condition.

Patients report increased pruritus during rest periods and during pillow contact.

Emotional stress may be implicated.


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