What causes lichen sclerosus?

The cause of this condition is not fully understood but is believed to be several factors, including:

  • Immune system overactivity
  • Genetics
  • Prior skin damage
  • Irritation to the area

Anyone can develop the condition, from children to adults, but it most commonly appears in:

  • Post-menopausal women
  • Children under 10
  • Women with a low thyroid function
  • Men who suffer from urinary incontinence or are uncircumcised
  • Those with a family history of the condition

What are the symptoms of lichen sclerosus?

It's possible to have mild lichen sclerosus with no symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they usually affect the skin of the:

  • Genital and anal areas
  • Back
  • Shoulders
  • Upper arms
  • Breasts

Symptoms of lichen sclerosus include:

  • Discolored patches of skin, smoother than the surrounding tissue
  • Blotchy or wrinkled patches of skin in the vaginal or anal area
  • Itching (often severe and worsening at night)
  • A burning sensation
  • Fragile, easily broken skin
  • Changes in the ability to pass urine
  • Bleeding, open sores
  • Pain during sexual intercourse

How is lichen sclerosus diagnosed?

Diagnosing lichen sclerosus typically involves a visual examination of the affected skin. Sometimes, Dr. Bahlani may order a biopsy to rule out cancer. As this condition can significantly impact life quality, diagnosing and treating it correctly is vital.

Can lichen sclerosus be cured?

While there is no total cure for lichen sclerosus, Dr. Bahlani can successfully treat this uncomfortable condition. The results provide relief while avoiding outbreaks and reducing itching and inflammation.

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Treatments for lichen sclerosus

Treating this condition may involve a daily prescription steroid ointment, which can resolve the issue within a few weeks. Complementary treatments may include:

  • Oral or topical steroids
  • Light therapy (phototherapy)
  • Laser treatments
  • Topical calcineurin inhibitors
  • Other topical therapies
  • Anti-inflammatory medications

Uncircumcised men may choose to be circumcised if the condition has affected urine flow. Lifestyle changes, such as avoiding scented soap products and taking antihistamines, can also make a difference.

Your first meeting at Pelvic Pain Doc in NYC

If you are living with the symptoms of lichen sclerosus, your journey to relief can begin when you meet with Dr. Sonia Bahlani. During your in-depth consultation, she will speak with you about how long you have experienced the symptoms and any medications or ointments you may have been prescribed in the past. She will also consider your medical history when crafting a treatment plan specifically for you.

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Why choose us?

At Pelvic Pain Doc, you will be treated at a boutique concierge urology and gynecology practice. Dr. Bahlani forges a positive patient-doctor relationship and can make every patient feel comfortable discussing the condition and symptoms. If you suffer from lichen sclerosus or suspect that you may have this condition, you deserve 5-star services from a  doctor who is fellowship trained in sexual and pelvic health – which many doctors are not.

Dr. Bahlani is the author of the definitive book on pelvic pain, “Dr. Sonia’s Guide to Navigating Pelvic Pain.” She is recognized as a thought leader and expert in pelvic pain, focused on helping her patients live happier, more comfortable lives, free from pain and discomfort. Contact us today to learn more about lichen sclerosus and your treatment options.

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