Lichen nitidus appears as clusters of tiny, glistening bumps (papules). Characteristics of the bumps include the following:
- Size. The bumps range in size from pinpoint to pinhead size.
- Shape. They are flat topped and round.
- Color. Bumps are usually the same color as your skin. They may be slightly pink on people with lighter skin, or lighter than normal skin color on people with darker skin.
- Location. Lichen nitidus bumps commonly occur on the chest, abdomen, arms and genital areas, including the penis. They rarely occur on the palms, soles of the feet, mucous membranes or fingernails. Lichen nitidus may clear up at one site on your body but then appear at another.
- Itch. In rare cases, the bumps of lichen nitidus may itch, sometimes intensely. They may appear in a line where there's a scratch, crease or constant pressure on the skin, such as a fold of skin on the abdomen or the crease of skin on the inside of the elbow or wrist.
When to see a doctor
See your doctor if tiny bumps or a rash-like condition appears on your skin for no apparent reason, such as a known allergic reaction or contact with poison ivy. Because a number of conditions can cause skin reactions, it's best to get a prompt and accurate diagnosis.
Get immediate care if your skin condition is accompanied by other signs and symptoms, such as:
Nov. 20, 2012
- Pus or oozing from a rash
- Goldsmith LA, et al., eds. Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 8th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=505. Accessed Sept. 27, 2012.
- Tilly JJ, et al. Lichenoid eruptions in children. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2004;51:606.
- Kliegman RM, et al. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1608/0.html. Accessed July 27, 2012.
- Psoriasis. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Psoriasis/default.asp. Accessed Sept. 29, 2012.
- Lin AN. Innovative use of topical calcineurin inhibitors. Dermatology Clinics. 2010;28:535.
- Protopic (prescribing information). Deerfield, Ill.: Astellas Pharma US, Inc.; 2006. http://www.astellas.us/docs/protopic.pdf. Accessed Sept. 27, 2012.
- Nakamizo S, et al. Generalized lichen nitidus successfully treated with narrowband UVB phototherapy. European Journal of Dermatology. 2010;20:816.
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