Pityriasis Lichenoides Chronica

Doctors and dermatologists may not always know the cause of skin growths or skin ailments. However, they do know that some of them are caused by viruses and others are a result of environmental exposures. The one thing that everyone agrees on is the fact that any rash, growth or blemish should be checked out by a medical professional.

Pityriasis lichenoides chronica is a rare type of skin disorder that is characterized by a red or brown rash that first appears. Sometimes this skin disorder is mistaken for chicken pox. The rash is usually raised and scaly. The immune system is the source of this disease. A brown mark may be left on the individuals skin once the rash flattens out. After several months these brown marks do begin to fade. The condition isn’t dangerous or contagious. The mild form of the disease is called pityriasis lichenoides chronica and the severe form is called pityriasis lichenoides et varioliformis acuta.

Who Can Get Them?

All individuals are equally affected by pityriasis lichenoides. More males than females seem to be affected. Infants and individuals of old age are rarely affected. Individuals in their thirties usually begin to show the skin disorder although it can affect adolescents and young adults.

What Can Cause Them?

It is unknown what exactly causes pityriasis lichenoides. Some evidence suggests that the rash appears due to a reaction to a microorganism such as a virus. The rashes come out onto the skin when a person has pityriasis lichenoides and affects the immune system.

How Does It Happen?

A red or brownish rash will appear to be scaly and raised for individuals inflicted with pityriasis lichenoides. The raised part of the rash looks small and firm. The raised bumps can sometimes contain fluid.

Where Do They Appear?

The condition can appear on the trunk, thighs and arms. Rarely do they appear on the face, head or feet. An individuals life can be made uncomfortable by these rashes.

What Are The Symptoms?

The start of the condition is as a small rash that is red to brown in color with a raised appearance. A clear fluid can sometimes be inside these bumps. Eventually they will break if they are left alone. They range in size from three to eighteen millimeters in diameter. They aren’t very irritating, but it does itch and it is important that individuals don’t scratch them since they could be infected. The rash may be accompanied by a fever and headache, but they are typically mild. You may feel like you are coming down with a case of the flu. The rash may last for a few weeks to a few months and typically disappears entirely within about one to two years.

How Can It Be Diagnosed?

A doctor or a dermatologist can make a diagnosis with a skin biopsy of the affected area. A shiny brown surface is often revealed once the area of the skin has been scraped.

What Treatments Are Available?

Certain treatments may not always work for pityriasis lichenoides and once treatment is stopped it can recur. It is best to use several treatments in combination to make sure the condition is controlled since it can’t be cured entirely.

To control the rash, corticosteroid creams and ointments can be applied. You need to apply these creams and ointments very carefully if you have sensitive skin. A doctor may also prescribe antihistamines such as Benadryl to help relieve the itching that may be associated with the rash. To improve and clear up the rash, photo therapy is also frequently used. Medications such as methotrexate and zithromax are prescribed when the condition is more extreme.

Individuals should remember that even when a skin growth doesn’t appear serious it should always be looked at by a doctor. You can prevent long term serious damage the earlier you find treatment. You need to do whatever you can to protect your skin for the long haul.

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