How is Lichen Sclerosus Diagnosed?

Are you experiencing itching, pain, and irritation in the genital area that is causing you worry and anxiety?   You could be suffering from lichen sclerosus.  Although there is no cure for this frustrating condition, it can be effectively controlled when diagnosed early.  But what is lichen sclerosus and how is it diagnosed. 

What Exactly Is Lichen Sclerosus?

Lichen sclerosus is a chronic skin disorder that commonly affects women and manifests as a severe itch in the external genitalia.  The external genitalia comprises the labia minora, labia majora, clitoral hood, and the vestibule.  

Lichen sclerosus also leads to changes in the appearance of the skin.  It causes the skin to become thin, wrinkly, shiny, and easily irritated.  White patches also develop in the affected areas.   Since lichen sclerosus makes the vulva skin thin and weak it tears easily, so thin fissures can occur as a result of scratching, exercising, or even intercourse. 

How Is Lichen Sclerosus Diagnosed?

Lichen sclerosus is diagnosed by a close clinical evaluation of the affected skin.  Experts can identify the subtle tissue changes and other physical characteristics of lichen sclerous and this is often all that’s needed for a diagnosis.  However, if the patient has areas of irregular skin, a skin biopsy may be needed to rule out skin cancer. 

To ensure an accurate diagnosis, women with symptoms of lichen sclerosus should consult with a gynecologist who has significant experience recognizing the symptoms.  This is important because many gynecologists are not familiar with lichen sclerosus and are therefore not aware of the symptoms, especially when they appear early on.  Left untreated, lichen sclerosus can lead to serious issues such as pain with intercourse and difficulty urinating

Are you struggling with vulva itching that doctors have been unable to diagnose?  Contact the experts in vaginal care at Fowler GYN International (FGI), Phoenix, AZ for a consultation.  

You can reach them at, or by calling (480) 420-4001.  

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