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Lichen Striatus Workup

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


Skin biopsy can be performed to confirm the diagnosis of lichen striatus, but this is rarely necessary.

In ambiguous cases, direct immunofluorescence with staining for Civatte bodies has been proposed to distinguish between lichen planus and lichen striatus. Stains for immunoglobulin M, immunoglobulin G, and complement C3 are positive in lichen planus and negative in lichen striatus.


Histologic Findings

The histopathologic results vary depending on the stage of evolution. Often, a polymorphic epidermal reaction pattern with variable spongiotic and lichenoid changes is seen in lichen striatus. However, unlike lichen planus, lichen striatus may result in a dense, usually perivascular, lymphohistiocytic infiltrate that extends deep into the dermis and that surrounds the hair follicles and eccrine sweat glands and ducts. Lymphoid infiltrates in the eccrine coil may mimic lupus, and the dense interface dermatitis may mimic mycosis fungoides.[31] Granulomatous inflammation may also be present.

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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