Q: What is Lichen Sclerosus?

Published on

A : (LIE-kun skluh-ROW-sus) is a condition that creates patchy, white skin that appears thinner than normal. It usually affects the genital and anal areas. Anyone can get lichen sclerosus but postmenopausal women are at higher risk. An overactive immune system or an imbalance of hormones may play a role. Symptoms vary person to person, but they generally include:

  • Itching, irritation, or burning sensations in the skin.
  • Dry skin that looks like white, patchy marks on your vulva.
  • Bruising and tearing, which appears when the skin has thinned and become fragile.
  • White scar tissue, a symptom that, along with itching and burn- ing, can seem really alarming (though white spots are often su- per treatable). One of the most telling signs of lichen sclerosus is white scar tissue in the shape of a figure-8 around the edges of your vulva and anus.
  • Pain during sex, usually a sign that your skin has thinned and/or a buildup of scar tissue has made your vaginal opening tighter and painfully taut.

If you have lichen sclerosus on or around your genitals or anus or have a more advanced case on other parts of your body, your doctor will recommend treatment. Treatment helps reduce itching, improve your skin’s appearance and decrease further scarring. I diagnose and treat this in my office and am available for consultations.

For more information feel free to contact:

Dr. Helen Simigiannis, MD, FACOG Antheia Gynecology
375 US Highway 130, Suite 103 East Windsor, NJ 08520 609.448.7800 www.antheiagyn.com