Lichen simplex is an ‘eczema of the scalp’ – a form of inflammatory dermatitis that only occurs if you have a genetic predisposition. Most people with this disorder will have had outbreaks as children, but it can occur at any age.
Lichen simplex causes small, round, flat and hard skin surfaces that have almost a leathery look. Stress is thought to be the main cause. It is very similar to neurodermatitis, but the continual scratching and rubbing cause a ‘lichenification’ – a thickening of the area that is constantly being rubbed.
Treatment can involve the daily application of a scalp cream containing salicylic acid, sulphur and tar. A solution of 1% or 0.5% cortisone can also be beneficial.