Lichen Simplex Chronicus

Lichen Simplex Chronicus

Lichen simplex chronicus (LSC) is a localized area of chronic, thickened, inflamed skin. Patients with LSC might have a single or multiple plaques in the affected area. LSC occurs mostly in adults and in people with anxiety and/or obsessive-compulsive disorder. LSC usually affects a patient’s dominant side and common areas such as back of scalp/neck, scrotum or vulva, wrists and forearms, and lower legs.

What causes LSC?

LSC presents after a cycle of repetitive scratching and rubbing as the result of chronic, localized itch. The causes of itch can include:

  • Eczema/atopic dermatitis
  • Contact dermatitis
  • Psoriasis
  • Lichen planus
  • Fungal infections
  • Insect bites
  • Neuropathy

What is the treatment?

  • Topical medications: Strong topical steroids can be prescribed for application on the affected areas until the LSC has resolved. Tar preparations, cooling creams, and moisturizers can also be applied to relieve symptoms.
  • Steroid injections: Your dermatologist can administer a steroid injection into the site of the LSC plaques to reduce symptoms of itch.
  • Oral medications: Oral antihistamines can be prescribed to help relieve symptoms of itch and promote better sleep.

LSC can be a very disruptive condition. If you are experiencing symptoms of LSC, consult with our dermatologists to treat your symptoms and the primary condition leading to LSC.