Pityriasis lichenoides chronica

What causes pityriasis lichenoides chronica (PLC)?

The exact cause of pityriasis lichenoides chronica (PLC) is not well- understood. In some cases, people with PLC have also had infections including Ebstein-Barr virus (EBV), toxoplasmosis, cytomegalovirus, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). It is thought that these infections may increase the risk of developing PLC. In some cases, people have developed PLC after taking medications such as chemotherapy or hormone replacement therapy. These medications may also increase the risk of developing PLC.

There is some evidence that PLC could be caused by the overgrowth of cells of the lymphatic system (lymphoproliferative disorder). PLC could also be caused by a reaction of the immune system against the body’s own tissues (autoimmune response). However, the cause of PLC may be different for different people with the disease, and the exact cause of the disease may not be determined for each person. PLC is not contagious, so it cannot be spread by coming in contact with a person who has the skin papules.

Last updated on 05-01-20

How is pityriasis lichenoides chronica (PLC) diagnosed?

Pityriasis lichenoides chronica (PLC) may be suspected when a doctor, most often a dermatologist, observes papules on the skin that look like those associated with PLC. These papules can also look like those that are caused by other diseases including psoriasis, chicken pox, or insect bites. Therefore, a skin biopsy may be recommended to confirm the diagnosis.

Last updated on 05-01-20

Is pityriasis lichenoides chronica (PLC) inherited?

Pityriasis lichenoides chronica (PLC) is not thought to be passed directly from parents to children. This is because there is not one specific gene in which changes are thought to cause PLC. The development of PLC may be associated with having certain kinds of infections, or it may be caused by the immune system attacking the tissues of the body (autoimmune response). In general, autoimmune responses are thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. If the cause of PLC can be determined for a specific person and family members have similar risk factors, they may have an increased risk to develop PLC as well.

Last updated on 05-01-20

What is the long-term outlook for people with pityriasis lichenoides chronica (PLC)?

Most people with pityriasis lichenoides chronica (PLC) notice that their symptoms improve over time. The exact amount of time that people have symptoms of the disease can vary, but typically the papules are present for several months to a few years. In some cases, the papules may disappear and reappear (relapse) over time.

For some people, treatment helps to shorten the duration of the disease. Some treatments, such as steroids or antibiotics, may cause side-effects. Some people may need to try a combination of treatments to find what works best in relieving the symptoms. In some cases, treatment may not relieve the symptoms of PLC. Rarely, people with PLC may develop a specific type of lymphoma of the skin (cutaneous lymphoma).

Last updated on 05-01-20

How might pityriasis lichenoides chronica (PLC) be treated?

In some cases, pityriasis lichenoides chronica (PLC) may fade over time without requiring any treatment. In other cases, people with PLC may want treatment because there are many papules that are taking a long time to fade. Possible therapies that may be used to treat PLC include:

If these therapies do not help treat PLC, other treatments may be used including oral steroids and immunosuppressants. In some cases, PLC may not respond to treatment, and relapses may occur. If the papules do return, close follow-up with a dermatologist is recommended.

More information about specific medications that may be used to treat PLC is available on Medscape Reference’s website.

Last updated on 05-01-20

Name: British Association of Dermatologists 19 Fitzroy Square London, UK W1T 6EH
United Kingdom
Phone: 0207 383 0266 Fax : 0207 388 5263 Email: admin@bad.org.uk Url: http://www.bad.org.uk
Name: British Skin Foundation 4 Fitzroy Square
London, W1T 5HQ , United Kingdom
Phone: 0207 391 6341 Url: http://www.britishskinfoundation.org.uk/

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The RareGuru disease database is regularly updated using data generously provided by GARD, the United States Genetic and Rare Disease Information Center.

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