Lichen Simplex Chronicus: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment


An estimated 12% of the U.S. population has Lichen Simplex Chronicus (LSC). This condition can occur at any age, in any race and in either gender. However, it is most common in middle-aged adults, particularly females.

What is LSC?

Sometimes referred to as Localized Neurodermatitis, this is a common condition that begins as an itchy patch of skin. With progressive scratching, this inflamed area of skin follows a cyclic pattern that leads to a severe thickened, scaly and dry patch of skin. This unsightly patch of skin can be quite irritating and frustrating which can go on for years.

What is the underlying cause of LSC?

Although LSC can occur on different sites like the neck, wrists and ears, the most common place is the inner ankles. Different reasons are attributed to the formation of LSC but the most definite cause for the LSC on the inner ankles is Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI). CVI is also a common disease that can lead to varicose veins and leg symptoms including cramps (Charlie horses)/pain/ache/restless legs and itch. It is this itch that starts the whole vicious cycle of progressive unrelenting lesion of LSC. That is why most of the itch occurs at nights while in bed.

What is the treatment of LSC?

Not surprisingly, the LSC lesion will not heal until the underlying cause, i.e. CVI, is treated. That’s because it is the CVI that causes the chronic itch to begin with. Ironically, this seemingly simple process is missed by most primary care doctors and dermatologists alike. The problem is that most of the medical community is not very well familiar with CVI and its complications. Today, there are several minimally-invasive, office-based ways to treat CVI.

The important point here is that if you have a leg lesion identified as LSC by your doctor, simply applying cortisone creams or even injecting cortisone is not going to cure your lesion. You need to treat the underlying vein that has insufficient valves. The longer it takes to treat the LSC lesion the more scarring will be left after the treatment.

At our office, we have been very progressive and successful in treating thousands of insufficient veins. We have had many grateful patients who finally had their LSC lesions cured. For more information, you can go to our web site.


The above patient came to our office with the Lichen Simplex Chronicus that was ongoing for several years. She had multiple cortisone creams and injections attempted by, first, her primary care doctor and then two other dermatologists. After a good history and physical exam she was found to be a classic case of Lichen Simplex Chronicus due to Chronic Venous Insufficiency. The Venous Ultrasound confirmed the diagnosis.

Subsequently, the patient underwent Radio Frequency Ablation of the underlying insufficient Greater Saphanous Vein. The itch resolved the same night and the lesion started to heal on Temovate cream. The above picture is taken 9 weeks after the treatment. The patient not only had her itch cured but she no longer was having any leg cramps, restless legs or pain.

For more information on this condition and how you can cure it, please contact Alpha Vein Clinic at (702) 233-1849.