This information is provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD).
Lichen sclerosus (LS) affects the skin leading to scarring around the genital and anal areas. It can occur at any age, but mainly occurs in women over the age of 50. It mainly affects the skin around the vagina, anus, and tip of the penis. Symptoms can include white lesions or plaques, pain during urination, itching, and pain during intercourse. Some people have no symptoms, while others may experience itchiness (sometimes severe), discomfort, or blistering. LS can last for years and can cause permanent scarring and damage if left untreated. The underlying cause of lichen sclerosus is not known, but it is thought to relate to an autoimmune process. Diagnosis is based on the symptoms and clinical exam. A skin biopsy may be done to confirm the diagnosis. Treatment is focused on managing the symptoms and stopping the progression of the disease. It may include topical steroids or other types of topical creams and/or surgery.
For more information, visit GARD.