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Lichen simplex chronicus

Lichen simplex chronicus
File:Lichen simplex chronicus - very low mag.jpg
Micrograph of lichen simplex chronicus. H&E stain.
Classification and external resources
ICD-10 L28.0
ICD-9 698.3
DiseasesDB 31441
MedlinePlus 000872
eMedicine derm/236
NCI Lichen simplex chronicus
Patient UK Lichen simplex chronicus
MeSH D009450

Lichen simplex chronicus (also known as "Neurodermatitis"[1]) is a skin disorder characterized by chronic itching and scratching.[2]:58 The constant scratching causes thick, leathery, brownish skin.


This is a skin disorder characterized by a self-perpetuating scratch-itch cycle:

  • It may begin with something that rubs, irritates, or scratches the skin, such as clothing.
  • This causes the person to rub or scratch the affected area. Constant scratching causes the skin to thicken.
  • The thickened skin itches, causing more scratching, causing more thickening.
  • Affected area may spread rapidly through the rest of the body.

The skin may become leathery and brownish in the affected area. This disorder may be associated with atopic dermatitis (eczema) or psoriasis. It may also be associated with nervousness, anxiety, depression, and other psychological disorders.[citation needed]

It is common in children, who chronically scratch insect bites and other areas.[citation needed]


Treatment is aimed at reducing itching and minimizing existing lesions because rubbing and scratching cause lichen simplex chronicus. The itching and inflammation may be treated with a lotion or steroid cream (such as Betamethasone) applied to the affected area of the skin.[citation needed]


Keep fingernails very short to minimize skin damage when scratching is unavoidable.


See also


  1. ^ Rapini, Ronald P.; Bolognia, Jean L.; Jorizzo, Joseph L. (2007). Dermatology: 2-Volume Set. St. Louis: Mosby. ISBN 1-4160-2999-0. 
  2. ^ James, William; Berger, Timothy; Elston, Dirk (2005). Andrews' Diseases of the Skin: Clinical Dermatology. (10th ed.). Saunders. ISBN 0-7216-2921-0.