Lichenification Superimposed on an Underlying Preceding Pruritic Disease
Lichenification is thickening of the skin with exaggeration of the skin markings and the development of an altered leathery texture with induration. Skin responds to chronic repetitive trauma such as scratching by thickening, becoming ‘lichenified’. It occurs in pruritic dermatoses of the vulva and other body sites. They are most marked on the labia majora and perineum. Overall atopy and atopic dermatitis (AD) is probably the most common. The skin texture is altered and appears coarse with exaggerated skin markings. The principles of treatment are the same as for AD. Attention to the itch-scratch cycle is important. Oral medication such a sedating antihistamine, antidepressant or anxiolytic may be required.