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PERSONS COMMONLY AFFECTED

  • Older adults, especially women
  • People with dry skin, eczema, and other itchy skin conditions
  • People who suffer from stress or anxiety

FEATURES

  • Itching of skin that may be recurrent, intense, and associated with stress (For example, scratching of the neck especially during exams)
  • Affected area appears as a raised, rough, thick, leathery, dark, scaly skin with prominent skin lines that may look like the bark of a tree
  • May have scratch marks and raw areas from repeated scratching

REASONS FOR DEVELOPMENT

  • Caused by a cycle of repeated itching and scratching or rubbing

OTHER FACTORS

  • May be associated with nervousness or stress
  • May start due to the presence of conditions that cause itchiness of the skin (allergies, atopic dermatitis, insect bites)

TREATMENT

  • Most important step is to stop scratching the skin
  • Moisturizers to decrease dryness
  • Medicated creams, lotions or ointments to calm redness and itching, and to decrease the thickness of the skin lesions. These may include steroids and salicylic acid.
  • Steroid medicine may also be injected into very thick skin lesions
  • Oral medicines to decrease itch and stress, such as antihistamines and sedatives
  • You may receive a referral for stress or behavioural management to address underlying cause of the problem

PREVENTION

  • Avoid repeated scratching or touching the affected skin
  • Avoid harsh bath products to prevent itching
  • Keep the skin moisturized

WHY DO I NEED TO SEE A BOARD-CERTIFIED DERMATOLOGIST?

  • Lichen simplex chronicus may cause embarrassment, stress and anxiety, and disruption of your daily activities. A board-certified dermatologist can give the correct diagnosis and treatment to control the condition and prevent complications such as bacterial and fungal infections and permanent scars
PDS
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