Pityriasis Lichenoides - Symptoms & Treatment
Pityriasis lichenoides is a rash with red or brown, raised, scaly patches that can form scars. The mild chronic form, known as pityriasis lichenoides chronica (PLC), is characterised by the gradual development of symptomless, small, scaling papules that spontaneously flatten and regress over a period of weeks. The condition is not dangerous. The awkward name 'pityriasis lichenoides' means that the rash is scaly (pityriasis) and that it was once thought to look a bit like lichen because it is made up of small bumpy areas. The disease is most common in males and usually accures in childhood, although it has been seen in every race and age group. The chronic form presents as flatter, reddish brown, scaling papules that may take months or longer to resolve. Pityriasis lichenoides is probably a hypersensitivity reaction to a microorganism. No specific bacteria or virus has yet been identified however. It is not contagious and currently there is no cure for the disease, although the lesions can be treated with ultraviolet therapy as well as topical steroids and antibiotics.
In Pityriasis Lichenoides, the patient generally feels well, but sometimes the crops of skin lesions are together with mild headache and fever. The cause of pityriasis lichenoides is not known, but the symptoms that occur in the childhood form suggest that it may follow a virus infection. Lesions may self-involute and resolve completely over weeks, or new lesions occasionally may appear in crops, waxing and waning spontaneously for months to years there after. The rash can last for weeks to months. It usually disappears within one to two years. The most common way to diagnose is by biopsy. It is rare in infants and in old age. A person who has Pityriasis Lichenoides something affects the immune system, the result of this, is that these rashes come out onto the skin. This disease has not been known to be life threatening. Corticosteroid creams and ointments applied to the skin often control the rash and itching.
Causes of Pityriasis lichenoides
The common causes and risk factor's of Pityriasis lichenoides include the following:
- The exect cause of pityriasis lichenoides is not known.
- The symptoms which appear in the childhood suggest that it might follow a virus infection.
- The reaction of over-sensitiveness to the infectious agents is the principal cause of this disease.
- The infections of toxoplasme are asymptomatic, and the toxoplasmose can also be a cause.
Symptoms of Pityriasis lichenoides
Some sign and symptoms related to Pityriasis lichenoides are as follows:
- The lesions are small firm red-brown spots.
- Pityriasis lichenoides rarely affects the face or scalp, but it can arise at any other site.
- Initially a small pink papule occurs that turns a reddish-brown colour.
- Fever, lethargy, and myalgia may be present in severe cases.
- The spots look less angry and are covered with a firm shiny scale.
- Over several weeks the spot flattens out spontaneously and leaves behind a brown mark, which fades over several months.
Treatment of Pityriasis lichenoides
Here is list of the methods for treating Pityriasis lichenoides:
- Antihistamines such as Benadryl by mouth will help alleviate the itching.
- Corticosteroid creams and ointments applied to the skin often control the rash and itching.
- Phototherapy - artificial ultraviolet radiation treatment with UVB or PUVA.
- Antibiotics may be used for some patients.
- Topical immunomodulators such as tacrolimus or pimecrolimus. Tacrolimus ointment applied twice daily has been used successfully to treat patients with PLC.
- Sometimes ultraviolet light treatment will improve pityriasis lichenoides.