Lichen simplex chronicus

Lichen simplex chronicus
Micrograph of lichen simplex chronicus. H&E stain.
Classification and external resources
Specialty dermatology
ICD-10 L28.0
ICD-9-CM 698.3
DiseasesDB 31441
MedlinePlus 000872
eMedicine derm/236
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 condition is more common between ages 30 and 50 and is seen more in women than in men.[3]


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

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.

It is common in children, who chronically scratch insect bites and other areas.


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.


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.
  3. Tamparo, Carol. Diseases of the Human Body (Fifth ed.). Philadelphia, PA. p. 201. ISBN 978-0-8036-2505-1.
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