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Diseases and Conditions
Lichen nitidusFrom MayoClinic.com
Special to CNN.com
Lichen (LI-kun) nitidus is a rare, noncancerous skin condition. It consists of tiny, skin-colored bumps (papules) that often appear in clusters on the surface of your skin, especially on the arms and legs. The cause of lichen nitidus is unknown.
Lichen nitidus may affect anyone, but typically develops in children and young adults. While lichen nitidus may be annoying, it's harmless. Even without treatment, lichen nitidus usually disappears over time.
Signs and symptoms
Lichen nitidus appears as numerous skin-colored, shiny papules on your skin. The pinpoint- to pinhead-sized bumps usually appear in clusters and may resemble warts. Papules most often occur on the following skin surfaces:
Other sites where lichen nitidus occurs less frequently include:
Other than its appearance on your skin, lichen nitidus usually doesn't cause any symptoms. Occasionally, the papules may itch.
The cause of lichen nitidus is unknown. However, it may be occasionally seen with the following other conditions:
Lichen nitidus is most likely to develop in children and young adults.
When to seek medical advice
If you develop an unexplained skin problem, such as a rash, or if you notice a mole, freckle or bump that is changing in size, shape or color, talk to your doctor.
Screening and diagnosis
Lichen nitidus is often discovered when the papules suddenly emerge on the skin. Your doctor can determine whether you have lichen nitidus by its characteristic appearance or by taking a small sample of tissue (biopsy) and examining the tissue under a microscope.
There are no medical complications associated with lichen nitidus. However, it may be bothersome to deal with this condition, especially if it persists for a long time.
Lichen nitidus is a harmless skin condition that usually gets better on its own after several years, so you and your doctor may decide not to treat it at all. Or you may choose to seek therapy for cosmetic reasons. The treatment options for lichen nitidus include:
Your doctor can help determine which of these therapies might be suitable for you.
You can't prevent lichen nitidus.
Your skin is the largest organ of your body, so protecting it is essential to your overall well-being. Here are a few tips for taking care of your skin:
June 08, 2006