What Causes Lichen Nitidus? Symptoms And How To Get Rid Of It?

Lichen nitidus is a rare skin condition which is characterized by discrete, pink or flesh colored bumps, grouped in patches. The typical site of its occurrence is genitalia, inner side of thighs, lower abdomen and at times over the wrists. Even though the cause is not known with certainty, it is believed to be due to inflammatory activity in the skin cells. The reason for this inflammation remains obscure.

Lichen nitidus is common in children and teenagers than in adults. Except for its cosmetic appearance the condition is benign and harmless. It is not contagious.

There is no specific treatment for lichen nitidus. After a period of time the disease clears off without any treatment.

Lichen Nitidus Causes

The exact reason for development of lichen nitidus is not known. It is prevalent in kids and teenagers more than in adults. Researchers suggest the inflammatory bumps that appear are due to activity of white blood cells.

In normal circumstances the white blood cells gets activated as a result of disease pathology or an injury. But since both are absent at the site, high activity of white blood cells remains a mystery.

Lichen nitidus is found to be associated with certain diseases.

  • Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis: It is an autoimmune disease where there is inflammation of joints in children. Pain, stiffness and swelling of joints are its characteristic feature.
  • Crohn’s disease: It is a digestive disorder where the internal lining of the intestine remains inflamed. Frequent diarrhea and abdominal pain are common features of this disease.
  • Lichen Planus: This inflammatory skin condition may have a relation in its development.
  • Tuberculosis of lung or abdomen may have a relation in development of lichen nitidus.

Symptoms Of Lichen Nitidus

Lichen nitidus is characterized by tiny bumps.

These bumps form in clusters. They appear in pink or flesh color and they are shiny. Below is given the characteristic of these bumps (papules), which makes it easy to segregate the disease from other skin condition.

  • The size of bumps may be as small as pinhead. There are group of lesions at a particular site which makes it appear like a patch.
  • The bumps are round
  • Bumps are pink in color or flesh colored. In dark skinned individuals they appear to be in a lighter shade.
  • The lesions are shiny
  • Normally the cluster of bumps of lichen nitidus appears on genitals of both genders. The other common sites are inner side of thigh, lower region of abdomen, and over the wrist. The lesions may disappear from one area, but may develop at other site.
  • Rarely lesions of lichen nitidus itches

How To Get Rid Of Lichen Nitidus?

The group of pinhead bumps of lichen nitidus may last for few months, in certain cases they may prevail for one year. Except for the cosmetic embarrassment, lichen nitidus is a harmless skin condition. The bumps heal on their own even without treatment. Once the lesions disappear there is no residual scarring or change of skin color at the site.

Parents usually become anxious when the lesions of lichen nitidus remain for a long time. In such cases, dermatologists may recommend certain medications; such as local application of corticosteroid ointment, topical application of retinoid cream. In rare case of itching, patient may need anti histamine medicines.

Phototherapy consisting of ultraviolet A and B rays is found to be effective in healing the lesions at a faster pace. Remaining in sunlight for 10 to 15 minutes and exposing the affected area in sunlight may be the easiest mode. However, if that is not possible, phototherapy can be taken in a doctor’s clinic.

Take care not to rub the affected area harshly as this may irritate the skin.