Pityriasis lichenoides (PL) is an uncommon cutaneous rash of uncertain etiology. PL is typically characterized by small, raised reddish-brown spots that sometimes come together in groups. The spots typically evolve into hemorrhagic crusts and ulcers. PL has an acute form named pityriasis lichenoides et varioliformis acuta (PLEVA) and a chronic form named pityriasis lichenoides chronica (PLC) and is difficult to diagnose, categorize, and treat. The exact cause of PL is unknown. There are a few hypotheses that the causes of PL could be a hypersensitivity reaction to an infection such as a virus, bacteria, parasites, an inflammatory reaction to medication, or a low-grade lymphoproliferative disorder. PLEVA usually presents suddenly and progresses rapidly. PLEVA shows up mainly on the trunk of the body and the proximal extremities. Many of the cutaneous lesions heal with transient or persistent hyper- or hypo- pigmentation. Many treatments have been tested to resolve the forms of PL such as Narrowband UVB phototherapy, anti-inflammatory antibiotics, corticosteroids, and TNF-alpha inhibitors. There are a few potentially deadly variants of PL. Due to PL being such a rare disorder, only having an incidence of 0.05%, there is not much research on the disorder. Specifically, there is not much compiled research on the disorder. Data from published works and patient experiences were collected to formulate this project. Discussions on PL can help create interest in pursuing new research on the topic. New research can then potentially lead to new answers and treatments for the various forms of PL.

Semester/Year of Award

Spring 2023


Sabrina Moore

Mentor Department Affiliation

Biological Sciences

Access Options

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level



Biological Sciences