Your browser does not support javascript:   Search for gard hereSearch for news-and-events here.


Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Print friendly version

Pityriasis lichenoides

See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.


Newline Maker

What treatment is available for pityriasis lichenoides?

The different forms of treatment for pityriasis lichenoides that have been used range from natural sunlight exposure to chemotherapeutic agents. Treatment may not be necessary if the rash is not causing symptoms.[1] When itching is severe, topical corticosteroids, tar preparations, and antihistamines may provide relief without changing the course of the disease. In adult patients, administration of methotrexate and oral tetracycline has led to good results; however, these medications are inappropriate for first-line treatment in young children. In addition to tetracycline, erythromycin is another antibiotic that is commonly used to treat pityriasis lichenoides. Sunlight is helpful, and excellent therapeutic responses to UVB phototherapy are documented. UVB therapy is more difficult in young children, and there is little data regarding the long-term risks of phototherapy in the pediatric population. It is difficult to interpret the results of formal therapy evaluations because of the frequency of spontaneous remissions.[2][3]
Last updated: 7/19/2013

  1. Pityriasis lichenoides. New Zealand Dermatological Society Web site. 2011; Accessed 1/3/2012.
  2. Ersoy-Evans S, Fernanda Greco M, Mancini AJ, Subasi N, Paller AS.  Pityriasis lichenoides in childhood: A retrospective review of 124 patients.  J Am Acad Dermatol. Feb 2007; 56(2): 205-210.
  3. Bowers S, Warshaw EM.  Pityriasis lichenoides and its subtypes.  J Am Acad Dermatol. Oct 2006; 55(4): 557-572.