Lichen Striatus, My Daughter’s Story

Lichen striatus is a benign and self limited rash that occurs in children anywhere from 5 to 15 years in 50 % of cases. However, my daughter was 2 years old when she suddenly had this rash appear on the back of her right leg. Females tend to be more affected by this than males. There is no known cause for this rash except possibly some environmental and genetic factors.  Below are more details about this rash as per :

What does lichen striatus look like? Lichen striatus starts as small pink, red or flesh colored spots that over the course of one or two weeks join together to form a dull red slightly scaly linear band. The band is usually 2 mm to 2 cm in width and may be a few centimeters in length or may extend the entire length of the limb. Sometimes there are two parallel bands. Lesions occur most commonly on one arm or leg but can affect the neck or trunk. Sometimes a band may extend from the leg onto the buttock or abdomen. Usually there are no symptoms but some patients may complain of slight or intense itching. Occasionally nails may be affected, sometimes without any skin lesions. They become thick, ridged, split and may rarely fall off altogether.

How is lichen striatus diagnosed? Lichen striatus is diagnosed by its typical clinical appearance. Findings on histopathology of a skin biopsy may also be helpful.

What treatments are available for lichen striatus? There is no effective treatment for lichen striatus and in most cases none is necessary. It usually resolves within 6 months but may leave temporary pale or dark marks (hypopigmentation or hyperpigmentation).What does lichen striatus look like? Emollients may be used to help treat dryness or itching, if present. Topical steroids or pimecrolimus cream may clear the lesions although they may take some weeks to be effective.

My daughter’s rash started as a group of palpable pink spots on the back of her thigh. From that patchy rash extended a linear strand that led to a similarly patchy red rash all over her posterior calf. The bigger patches were slightly itchy at times. Her rash lasted about a month and did not leave any hypopigmented areas. Below are 2 pictures of my daughter’s rash on the back of her right leg.

rash rash2

If you have questions or if your child has a rash, please call your pediatrician’s office.