Linear epidermal nevus

Author Bio
Diane Williams
 

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Key Points
*Uncommon skin condition typically affecting the limbs or torso
*Caused by a genetic abnormality which causes defects in the formation of skin
*Symptoms predicated on the cause of the condition

Linear Epidermal naevi is an uncommon skin condition which typically affects the limbs or torso, usually on one side of the body. Lesions typically appear at birth or in infancy, and present as flat, linear patches which may be brown or tan in color. These patches will thicken and become wart-like as the affected person ages. Spreading of the condition may occur during the early stages.

Linear epidermal naevi result from a genetic abnormality which causes defects in the ectoderm, the part of embryos which form the skin. No ethnic, age or gender group is more likely to develop the condition. The presence of the condition may also indicate associated syndromes which develop as a result of the same genetic abnormalities of the ectoderm, which also forms the neural system during fetal development. Additionally, in rare cases, lesions may develop tumors which may be cancerous.

Differential Diagnosis (Other conditions with similar appearance)Acrokeratosis verruciformis of Hopf
Lichen Simplex Chronicus
CHILD syndrome
Lichen Striatus
Epidermodysplasia verruciformis
Nevus comedonicus
Epidermolytic hyperkeratosis (Bullous Congenital Ichthyosiform Erythroderma)
Nevus Sebaceus
Erythrokeratodermia Variabilis
Porokeratosis
Keratosis Follicularis (Darier disease)
Proteus syndrome
Lichen Nitidus
Lichen Planus

Diagnosis
Key Points
*Diagnosis based on appearance of the affected area
*Other tests may be performed to confirm the diagnosis and to rule out other conditions

Linear Epidermal naevi are usually diagnosed based on the appearance of the affected area. Other testing, including imaging tests such as MRIs, may be performed to confirm diagnosis and rule out other conditions, in addition to being used to determine the extent of the disorder.

Treatment
*No completely effective treatment exists
*Goal of treatment is the control and reduction of symptoms

No completely effective treatment for linear epidermal naevi exists. The goal of treatment, when recommended, is to control and reduce symptoms. Health care professionals may recommend topically administered calcipotriol to reduce the wart-like appearance of the affected area. Removal may also be an option in some cases, either through surgical excision or destructive laser therapies.