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Lichen Striatus Medication

  • Author: June Kim, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
Updated: Mar 07, 2016

Medication Summary

The goals of pharmacotherapy for lichen striatus are to reduce morbidity and prevent complications.


Corticosteroids, Topical

Class Summary

Corticosteroids have anti-inflammatory properties and cause profound and varied metabolic effects. In addition, these agents modify the body's immune response to diverse stimuli. Topical and intralesional steroids do not necessarily hasten resolution of lichen striatus.

Triamcinolone topical (Aristocort, Kenalog)


Topical triamcinolone is used for the treatment of inflammatory dermatoses responsive to steroids.It decreases inflammation by suppressing the migration of polymorphonuclear leukocytes and reversing capillary permeability. Triamcinolone affects the production of lymphokines and has inhibitory effects on Langerhans cells.

Clobetasol (Temovate)


Clobetasol is a slass I superpotent topical steroid. It suppresses mitosis and increases the synthesis of proteins that decrease inflammation and cause vasoconstriction.


Corticosteroids, Systemic

Class Summary

Corticosteroids have anti-inflammatory properties and cause profound and varied metabolic effects. In addition, these agents modify the body's immune response to diverse stimuli.

Prednisone (Deltasone, Prednisone Intensol, Sterapred, Sterapred DS)


Prednisone may decrease inflammation by reversing increased capillary permeability and suppressing PMN activity.



Class Summary

These agents exert anti-inflammatory effect by inhibiting T-lymphocyte activation. They are safer than topical steroids for prolonged use or in skin folds.

Pimecrolimus, topical 1% cream (Elidel)


Pimecrolimus is an immunomodulator; it inhibits T-cell proliferation and production of cytokines. Pimecrolimus differs from tacrolimus, as it does not inhibit antigen-presenting cells in the skin.

Tacrolimus, topical 0.03%, 0.1% (Protopic)


Tacrolimus is an immunomodulator; it suppresses cytokine release from T lymphocytes.

Contributor Information and Disclosures

June Kim, MD Mohs Surgeon/Dermatologist, Cascade Eye and Skin Center, PC

June Kim, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, American College of Mohs Surgery, American Medical Association, American Society for Dermatologic Surgery

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


Wingfield Rehmus, MD, MPH Dermatologist, BC Children's Hospital, Vancouver, British Columbia

Wingfield Rehmus, MD, MPH is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, Society for Pediatric Dermatology

Disclosure: Serve(d) as a speaker or a member of a speakers bureau for: Abbvie; Valeant Canada<br/> Received honoraria from Valeant Canada for advisory board; Received honoraria from Pierre Fabre for advisory board; Received honoraria from Mustella for advisory board; Received honoraria from Abbvie for advisory board.

Specialty Editor Board

Richard P Vinson, MD Assistant Clinical Professor, Department of Dermatology, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Paul L Foster School of Medicine; Consulting Staff, Mountain View Dermatology, PA

Richard P Vinson, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, Texas Medical Association, Association of Military Dermatologists, Texas Dermatological Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Paul Krusinski, MD Director of Dermatology, Fletcher Allen Health Care; Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Vermont College of Medicine

Paul Krusinski, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, American College of Physicians, Society for Investigative Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

Dirk M Elston, MD Professor and Chairman, Department of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery, Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine

Dirk M Elston, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Additional Contributors

Daniel J Hogan, MD Clinical Professor of Internal Medicine (Dermatology), Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine; Investigator, Hill Top Research, Florida Research Center

Daniel J Hogan, MD is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, American Academy of Dermatology, American Contact Dermatitis Society, Canadian Dermatology Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


The authors and editors of Medscape Reference gratefully acknowledge the contributions of previous authors, Nelly Rubeiz, MD, and Amal Mehanna, MD, to the development and writing of this article.

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Extensive unilateral lichen striatus that affects both the upper and lower extremities. Grouped keratotic lichenoid papules form plaques over the leg.
Lichen striatus over the inner thigh.
Hypopigmented lichen striatus over the leg.
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