Pityriasis Lichenoides Chronica: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Pityriasis lichenoides chronica is mild but chronic rare skin disease characterized by persistent red papular eruptive lesions with white scales. It is a benign skin lesion of unknown etiology. The scaling eruptions of pityriasis lichenoides chronica develop slowly and stay for several weeks before they regress. Regression is spontaneous and lasts for long time before they reappear again after many months.

The lesions can be present on any part of body, but it is mainly seen on chest and back. Rarely the lesions may be present on mouth. Most of the time there is no treatment needed for pityriasis lichenoides chronica.

Some people may require antibiotics and photo-therapy.

Causes Of Pityriasis Lichenoides Chronica

Pityriasis lichenoides chronica is a rare cutaneous disease of an unknown etiology. The disease first appears in acute form and gradually becomes chronic. Pityriasis lichenoides chronica can affect any individual. It affects men as well as women. But the disease is more common in males. It affects any race and in any geographic state.

According to researchers this condition develops due to inflammatory changes in the body caused by infectious agents. Both bacterial as well as viral infections such as HIV, parvovirus, Epstein-Barr virus, toxoplasma, staphyloccocus are considered to be the risk factors.

The condition does not occur in infants and old people.

Symptoms Of Pityriasis Lichenoides Chronica

Pityriasis lichenoides chronica is one of the forms of pityriasis lichenoides. It is in fact a milder but chronic variant of the acute form. The lesions of pityriasis lichenoides chronica are small, red or brown spots. The papules are present with dry flaky white scales. Pain and itching is absent in this form of Pityriasis lichenoides, unlike its acute variety. Once the lesion subsides, the underlying skin becomes either hypo-pigmented or hyper-pigmented.

Pityriasis lichenoides chronica has affinity to develop on back, chest and on the limbs. In rare cases the lesions develop on face, scalp and on genitals. The skin lesions develop gradually but disappear spontaneously. They stay for few days or months before disappearing.

Pityriasis lichenoides chronica is a chronic skin condition which can appear or look alike lesions of psoriasis or lichen planus or an insect bite. The skin lesions of Pityriasis lichenoides chronica may stay from few weeks to few months and then disappear suddenly. However, the symptoms may return back after many years.

Diagnosis Of Pityriasis Lichenoides Chronica

Pityriasis lichenoides chronica is diagnosed in following ways:

  • Physical examination and proper medical history taken by the dermatologist.
  • Observing the lesion with the help of special magnified lens. It is called dermoscopy.
  • Skin biopsy: A biopsy of skin is performed. It is observed under microscope. The pathologist can diagnose the condition.
  • The biopsy material will help the pathologist to differentiate this condition with other skin conditions such as gutatte psoriasis and chicken pox.

Treatment Options For Pityriasis Lichenoides Chronica

Many times patients suffering from Pityriasis lichenoides may not require any treatment if the symptoms are extremely mild or the lesions subside on their own. However, in long standing cases of pityriasis lichenoides chronica, treatment does not always respond and the lesions may erupt again after a period of time when the medicines are discontinued.

There are several different treatment measures. This include as follows:

  • Exposure to ultraviolet rays of sunlight.
  • Application of topical steroid cream and ointment.
  • Intake of oral antibiotic medicines.
  • Use of photo-therapy in case if antibiotic alone is not sufficient to treat the condition.
  • Treat stress and anxiety caused due to persistence of the lesions with yoga and meditation.

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