Lichen Nitidus

What is Lichen Nitidus?

Lichen Nitidus is a somewhat rare, chronic discharge that is characterized clinically as flat-topped, asymptomatic, skin-colored micropapules that may appear as hypopigmented against dark skin. Lichen nitidus mostly affects young adults and children.

Sometimes minimal scaling is present or can be induced by rubbing the tops of the papules. The papules are about one to three millimeters in diameter and do not contain any fluid. The disease is usually non pruritic (doesn’t cause the sensation of needing to scratch) and painless although long-term itching may occur in some cases.

Some dermatologists refer to this condition as “mini lichen planus”. The lesions can be localized on the legs, chest, back, hands, or abdomen and the exact cause of the condition is unknown. The condition can be easily diagnosed by an experienced doctor but a biopsy can be performed to confirm the diagnosis.

What are the Symptoms of Lichen Nitidus?

Main signs of Lichen Nitidus include:

  • Shiny skin bumps flesh-colored skin bumps
  • Itching
  • Flat-topped skin bumps

Symptoms may increase during the summer, when it’s humid, and in situations of stress.

How is Lichen Nitidus Treated?

Generally, lichen nitidus is asymptomatic and requires no treatment.

In cases of severe itching or unsightly appearance, treatment may involve moisturizers and local cortisone. Other treatments may include oral steroids and PUVA, UVA/UVB phototherapy, astemizole, acitretin, and etretinate.

Last Reviewed:
October 09, 2016
Last Updated:
September 01, 2017
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