DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Lichen simplex rash on the skin of a 30-year-old black male. Lichen simplex results in patches of thickened, itchy, discoloured skin within a defined area. The condition is caused by repeated rubbing or scratching and is psychological in origin, with no underlying organic cause. Sufferers typically rub the skin when distressed, often unaware they are doing so. The skin becomes irritated and itches, which provokes yet more scratching. Antihistamine or corticosteroid drugs may be given to relieve itching, and a bandage may be used to break the cycle of scratching.
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