Lichen Striatus

Updated: Apr 14, 2017
  • Author: June Kim, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Overview

Background

Lichen striatus is a rare, benign, self-limited linear dermatosis of unknown origin that predominantly affects children. Lichen striatus is clinically diagnosed on the basis of its appearance and characteristic developmental pattern following the lines of Blaschko. [1]

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Pathophysiology

The skin is the primary organ system affected by lichen striatus. However, lichen striatus also may involve the nails. [2, 3]

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Epidemiology

Race

No racial predilection is recognized for lichen striatus.

Sex

No consensus exists on sex predilection in lichen striatus. Some studies show a 2- to 3-fold increased incidence in girls compared with boys, whereas others show an equal sex distribution.

Age

Lichen striatus is primarily a disease of young children. More than 50% of all lichen striatus cases occur in children aged 5-15 years. Other reports dispute this age range and claim that the median age of onset for lichen striatus is 3 years. Although lichen striatus is rare in both infants and adults, the disease can occur in persons of any age. [4, 5]

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Prognosis

The prognosis of patients with lichen striatus is excellent. Recovery is complete. Lichen striatus lesions usually regress spontaneously within 1 year, with a range of 4 weeks to 3 years. Relapses of lichen striatus may occur, but these are uncommon.

Lichen striatus of the nail may take a protracted course, lasting from 6 months to 5 years. [6] Nail involvement resolves spontaneously without deformity.

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