Lichenoid Dermatitis: Treatments, Causes, Symptoms

Lichenoid Dermatitis

Dermatitis and its different types are all skin disease that result in skin inflammation. There are many kinds of skin diseases, and lichenoid dermatitis’s classification is lichenoid dermatitis icd 10. The characteristics of any skin inflammation are red skin, itchiness and rashes. Sometimes in the short term, you could notice blisters and in the long-term the skin can get thickened. Skin diseases can occur in just one place on your skin, or they can range across the entire body.

What is lichenoid dermatitis?

Lichenoid dermatitis falls in the eczema category; it might be the least common type of eczema, but there are many people that can get affected. Usually the most common group of people where you will find lichenoid dermatitis is in the elderly. You will notice it by the purple colouring of the skin. Lichenoid interface dermatitis is the name also used for disorders such as lichenoid dermatitis and indicates that inflammation infiltration with basal-cell-damage seems uncertain in the dermoepidermal junction. This is the area joining epidermal and dermal layers of skin.

ichenoid dermatitis

Lichenoid dermatitis causes

Eczema such as lichenoid dermatitis can be caused by damaging the epidermis of the skin. This will straight away alter how the outer layer of your skin interacts with the inside layer. But both layers of skin, inner and outer, become allergic one to the other and this is where the purple colour arises and becomes inflamed. Nobody is 100% sure of the exact cause for this. However, dermatologists think that it could well be caused by reactions to chemicals or drugs or even a viral infection that has occurred in the body. Usually the elderly are the ones who are taking high blood pressure and heart disease medications, which are common causes.

Apart from the environmental factors that can cause lichenoid dermatitis, hormone imbalance is another important one. Hormonal changes that take place during pregnancy, or menstruation or menopause can certainly aid in the development of eczema, causing it to erupt or worsen. All these cases need to be investigated.


  1. First of all, your skin is affected. This can be evident in places like the ankles, wrists, lower back or forearms. Actually it can be found anywhere, even on the scalp, the tongue, inside the mouth and cheeks, even the genitals.
  2. You will notice bumps on your skin, little purple bumps appearing in your body. They can be tiny purple-like dots or they can be bigger in size. These bumps can swell and become itchy, making you feel uncomfortable.
  3. If you do not get treated, those little or larger bumps can then become scaly. Your skin could become greyish in colour when the bumps do clear up, becoming purplish. Fortunately, the right medication can clear it all up so that your skin goes back to its normal healthy colour.

Although it is always better to visit the doctor to identify the disease, sometimes, it might help to pre-diagnose yourself to calm down. Here are some pictures of lichenoid dermatitis that show how the disease can develop in various parts of the skin.

Treatment for lichenoid dermatitis

Fortunately enough, there is a variety of treatment for lichenoid dermatitis.

 You can use the following options to fight the symptoms and prevent causes and development of the disease.

  • Steroid cream – a doctor can prescribe cortisone cream
  • Stopping all medication: because it might be one of them causing the problem
  • Antibiotics might be prescribed so that the skin can be cleared of the rash
  • Antihistamines or steroid shots might be administered to clear your skin of the inflammation and itching sensation. This medication though will relieve the symptoms but won’t clear the rash on its own
  • Laser therapy might well assist in helping with eliminating the greyish-purple colour of the skin to restore it to what it was like before

Low Level Laser

The above might seem like treating something that does not appear to be too serious. But it should be noted that in some cases lichenoid dermatitis could well be the results of something more serious. More serious diseases could be things like hepatitis or grafted-virus host. When either of these occurs, the doctor should still thoroughly check because the virus can remain inside the body. It might not be showing any outside symptoms in a person, but it will return over time and that is why treatment is necessary. The good news is that lichenoid dermatitis is not contagious.

Alternative therapies

There are some wonderful alternative therapies that go a long way in helping lichenoid dermatitis. 

  • Hypnosis: Even though it is on the edge of the conventional and alternative type therapies, there is evidence around that suggests that hypnosis can be helpful, although time consuming and expensive. Might help with reduction of stress.
  • Acupuncture can help to reduce the itching and to reduce the stress. Very safe method, but also can be expensive.


  • Natural therapies: As keeping the skin moisturised is so important in cases of dermatitis, coconut oil is still very popular today for people with eczema as it contains anti-bacterial properties. The oil of sunflower seeds applied topically on the eczema is great for the itching and inflammation. Essential oils can never be under-estimated and here is a list of very useful essential oils that can be researched in their wonderful treatment of eczema:
  1. Thyme: Defence against pain and swelling.
  2. Clove: Antiseptic and anti-inflammatory, often used by dentists.
  3. Rose: uplifting and anti-inflammatory.
  4. Eucalyptus: Pain relief and inflammation.
  5. Fennel: Anti-inflammatory.
  6. Bergamot: Mood-boosting, reduces inflammation.
  7. Rose geranium: Reduces swelling, anti-inflammatory.
  8. Chamomile: Calming, anti-inflammatory.
  9. Tea Tree: Relieving sores, inflammation, itchiness.
  10. Turmeric: Anti-inflammatory.
  • Dieting: There are many diets recommended for the treatment of eczema. Many of these are about being dairy-free, low allergen, gluten-free, cutting out sugar, no yeast, eating only alkaline foods and the like. Avoid eating processed foods in any case is a good idea and opting rather for eating natural and organic foods will certainly go a long way in helping you to be healthy and in the process, might help the eczema.
  • Probiotics: Certainly including healthy bacteria to your diet makes a lot of sense seeing that eczema is about disrupted bacteria in the gut and on the skin.
  • Vitamins: Vitamins B and D: the sufficient intake of these vitamins is very helpful for the prevention and control of the disease.

Alternative therapies like these do encompasses great possibilities that can either overwhelm the patient as well as the provider, but they can be exciting and successful for those who want to research and find ways of clearing their lichenoid dermatitis and other skin diseases.

Some helpful advice

 Temperatures at home should be stabilised. You might have noticed that you have flare ups of eczema when the temperature changes, or you move from one type of temperature to another quickly. Try and keep temperatures at home consistent.

  • A humidifier is excellent to use, specifically in the winter month, because heaters can dry out your skin. Use the cool-mist type humidifier.
  • Observe what triggers off your eczema – grass, mites, chemicals, perfumes, certain foods, etc. Try and keep a track of when you do have a flare up, taking note of what you were eating or putting on your skin.
  • Treat your skin gently, which means using warm water and not hot water on your skin. Try and use natural soap, avoiding the scented cleansers.
  • Rinse new clothes out before wearing them, and rinse your own laundry out very well to ensure all detergents are rinsed away, to avoid irritation.
  • Keep hands clean and fingernails short and clean, because scratching at the eczema can cause further damage and a high likelihood of infecting the area.
  • Use antihistamines on your skin to relieve the itching and sunscreen on your skin when you are outdoors. Use sunscreens that are made for your face, which will be gentler on the body than the regular ones.
  • Stress reducing techniques such as deep breathing or meditation go a long way in helping everybody, let alone those with lichenoid dermatitis. Stress is truly a great destroyer of health and happiness and that includes lichenoid dermatitis. It is so important that if you are really suffering from stressful situations, you might need to talk with a therapist or a counsellor. They can help you to find strategies to work with your stress.

Sources and references

  1. NCBI – Frictional Lichenoid Dermatitis
  2. Wikipedia – Lichen planus