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Lichen nitidus in Child
See also in: Anogenital
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Lichen nitidus in Child

See also in: Anogenital
Contributors: Vivian Wong MD, PhD, Gil Weintraub MD, Belinda Tan MD, PhD, Susan Burgin MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


Lichen nitidus is a benign, chronic, cutaneous eruption characterized by the presence of small, discrete, uniform, often skin-colored papules that present in clusters or linear arrays. It most commonly affects children and young adults, although it can be found in patients of all ages.

Lichen nitidus may be generalized or focal, but it is commonly found on the chest, abdomen, flexor surfaces of the upper extremities, dorsal hands, and anogenital region (including the shaft and glans of the penis). Lichen nitidus actinicus is a variant of lichen nitidus that has been reported more frequently in Black individuals as well as individuals from the Middle East and Indian subcontinent. Patients may complain of pruritus over affected areas, although these micropapules are typically asymptomatic.

While the etiology of lichen nitidus remains unclear, it is important to note that it is typically not associated with laboratory abnormalities. Medication-related cases (following administration of nivolumab, tremelimumab, mogamulizumab, and interferon alpha) and familial forms have been reported.

Lichen nitidus is chronic and persistent, but the majority of patients ultimately clear spontaneously over the course of several months without residual atrophy or pigmentary changes.


L44.1 – Lichen nitidus

41890004 – Lichen nitidus

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Last Reviewed:12/10/2018
Last Updated:01/05/2022
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Patient Information for Lichen nitidus in Child
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Contributors: Sokhna Seck, Hope Mitchell MD


Lichen nitidus is a skin condition that appears as numerous tiny, shiny, pale or skin-colored bumps that can be single or can form clusters.

Lichen nitidus is an inflammatory condition with an unknown cause. It is not an infectious or contagious disease, so it cannot be spread to others. Although the appearance of these bumps may be distressing to some people, they are harmless and do not lead to any long-term skin or medical problems.

This rash usually resolves on its own with no treatment, but in some cases, a physician may prescribe topical steroids to help treat it.

Who’s At Risk

Patients of all ages can be affected, but lichen nitidus is most commonly seen in children and young adults.

Signs & Symptoms

Lichen nitidus is generally found on the chest, abdomen, forearms, backs of the hands, and genital region. Usually it is asymptomatic, but some patients may complain of itchiness.

Self-Care Guidelines

In most cases, lichen nitidus clears up on its own in a few months to a year, and it leaves no long-term changes to the skin. If there is itching or the appearance of the bumps is distressing, there are certain treatments available.

When to Seek Medical Care

You should see a doctor if the itching becomes bothersome or if your rash is worsening.


  • Topical steroids
  • Tacrolimus
  • Antihistamines
  • Phototherapy
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Lichen nitidus in Child
See also in: Anogenital
A medical illustration showing key findings of Lichen nitidus : Abdomen, Chest, Tiny papules, Clustered configuration, Upper extremities
Clinical image of Lichen nitidus - imageId=1237603. Click to open in gallery.  caption: 'Multiple small, monomorphic, whitish papules on the abdomen and forearm. Note the linear array (Koebner phenomenon) on the forearm.'
Multiple small, monomorphic, whitish papules on the abdomen and forearm. Note the linear array (Koebner phenomenon) on the forearm.
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