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What is lichenification?

Lichenification is a medical term that means "thickened skin." It can result from frequent scratching and rubbing of the skin in people who have atopic dermatitis, a chronic condition that causes skin to look red and feel itchy. The skin can take on a thick, leathery appearance, develop "knots" and may itch all the time, more frequently on areas that have lichenification than on areas that do not. Bacterial infection may also result from scratches in the skin due to itching.

To treat lichenification, your doctor may prescribe medications that you can take by mouth or apply to your skin that treat lichenification or the underlying condition. Topical steroids and antihistamines may be recommended, or antibiotics if scratching has caused infection. In some cases, therapy with an ultraviolet light can help, and frequent use of ointment-based moisturizers can also help to relieve the itch and improve the appearance of lichenification.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.