Lichen sclerosus

What causes lichen sclerosus?

The underlying cause of lichen sclerosus is not fully understood. The condition may be due to genetic, hormonal, irritant and/or infectious factors (or a combination of these factors). It is believed to relate to an autoimmune process, in which antibodies mistakenly attack a component of the skin. Other autoimmune conditions are reported to occur more frequently than expected in people with lichen sclerosus. In some cases, lichen sclerosus appears on skin that has been damaged or scarred from previous injury or trauma.

Last updated on 05-01-20

How many people are affected by lichen sclerosus?

The population rate of lichen sclerosus is unknown. Lichen sclerosus most often affects women between the ages of 40 and 60 (although children and men can also be affected). The female to male ratio is roughly 6 to 1.

Last updated on 05-01-20

How might lichen sclerosus be treated?

Strong topical steroid creams or ointments reportedly are very helpful for lichen sclerosus, especially when it affects the genital areas. However, the response to this treatment varies. While itching may be relieved within days, it can take weeks or months for the skin's appearance to return to normal.

Other treatments that may be used instead of steroid creams, or in combination with steroid creams, include calcipotriol cream, topical and systemic retinoids (acitretin), and/or systemic steroids.

If the vaginal opening has narrowed, dilators may be needed. In rare cases, surgery is necessary to allow for sexual intercourse. The condition sometimes causes the vaginal opening to narrow or close again after surgery is initially successful.

Additional information about treatment of lichen sclerosus can be viewed on Medscape's Web site.

Last updated on 05-01-20

Where To Start

Lichen sclerosis - more detailed information

The also provides information on lichen sclerosus. To view this information, click on the link above.

Last updated on 04-27-20

Name: National Vulvodynia Association P.O. Box 4491
Silver Spring, MD, 20914-4491, United States
Phone: +1-301-299-0775 Fax : +1-301-299-3999 Email: Url:
Name: National Lichen Sclerosus Support Group P.O. Box 5830 Lyme Regis
Dorset DT7 3ZU
United Kingdom
Phone: 07765 947599 Url:
Name: American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA) 22100 Gratiot Avenue
Eastpointe, MI, 48021, United States
Phone: 586-776-3900 Toll Free: 800-598-4668 Fax : 586-776-3903 Email: Url:

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The RareGuru disease database is regularly updated using data generously provided by GARD, the United States Genetic and Rare Disease Information Center.

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