You may be extremely vexed about how to treat lichen simplex and to break out of the itch-scratch-itch cycle. To know how to treat it, it is important that you understand more about what lichen simplex is.

Lichen simplex describes a symptom of protruted, thickened and reddened skin. It develops when you habitually scratch a certain area of your skin for a prolonged period. This causes your skin to harden. Lines here on the affected part appear exaggerated and more noticeable, with a lichen effect. Pigmentation in this area also darkens.

Lichen simplex occurs most often if you are also an eczema patient but in reality, it is a condition that can affect anyone. The itching that brought lichen simplex about is due to the irritation of the nerve endings in the affected part. Due to the irritation, you scratch. However, the more you scratch this specific area, the more irritated it becomes. Hence, the scratch-itch-scratch cycle begins, making your lichen simplex even worse. With the resulting thickened skin, you also feel as if you have something there on you that you need to remove or scratch away.

Luckily, lichen simplex usually develops on a specific area of your body and need not cover a big area. It is most commonly found on the ankle, hand, or a spot on the back or on your legs. The itch can also be a very small area, occuring in your upper eyelids.

How to treat lichen simplex? Conventional treatments for lichen simplex include topical steroids that you can get via prescription or over the counter hydrocortisone cream. These can help provide you with instant relief but are not recommended for extended use as they can have various side effects.

Alternatively, herbal remedies may be considered. Herbal remedies offer you a treatment option that is natural and generally safer but may take a longer time to take effect. One such herbal remedy for lichen simplex is licorice root. Licorice root has a substance called glycrrhetinic acid or GLA that works much like hydrocortisone to control the itching of lichen simplex. An ointment or cream containing coal tar may be helpful for treating lichen simplex as well. In Chinese herbal medicine, She Chuan zi or Cnidium seed is used to help treat the itching.

You can also understand some preventative measures to minimise scarring and hardened skin. Preventative measures like keeping your nails short or wearing protective gloves are good tips to follow. Stress can also aggravate your desire to scratch; so it is imperative that you find ways to relax and reduce anxiety levels.

To treat lichen simplex, it is important that you take control of the scratch-itch-scratch cycle. An inablity to break out of this cycle can only worsen the affected part of your skin with constant bleeding and broken skin in between. Consult your skin care dermatologist or alternative health practitioner to find the best way out of your misery.

Author's Bio: 

Evelyn Lim is an eczema sufferer. She is also the publisher to a hugely popular newsletter on Eczema Natural Treatment. Many have benefitted from her free tips. To gain access to her research, story and tips, please visit