Lichen Sclerosus


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What is Lichen Sclerosus?

Lichen Sclerosus is a condition which affects the skin around the vulval and/or anal area. It tends to make the skin thick, pale or develop a crinkled appearance. There may also be irritation, itch or soreness in the genital area. In some cases it can lead to scarring and discomfort during sex.

Lichen Sclerosus is thought to affect about 1 in 80 women, so it is pretty common. It seems to be more common in women who also have other autoimmune conditions, such as thyroid disease. While it can happen at any age, it is more frequent in middle-aged or older women.

Treatment usually involves topical steroid (cortisone) cream or ointment. As it is usually a lifelong condition, it needs to be monitored by a doctor (usually a gynaecologist), as unfortunately it can lead to cancer of the vulva, in a minority of cases (about 4%).