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Definition of Lichenification

Lichenification: Thick, leathery skin, usually the result of constant scratching and rubbing.

With prolonged rubbing or scratching, the outer layer of the skin (the epidermis) becomes hypertrophied (overgrown) and this results in thickening of the skin and exaggeration of the normal skin markings, giving the skin a leathery bark-like appearance.

Lichenification is a common consequence of atopic dermatitis (eczema) and other pruritic (itchy) disorders. It may also arise on seemingly normal skin.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=10131
Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012

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