If you have a persistent vaginal itch that can’t be fixed, it could be more than an infection. You could have a vulvovaginal issue that needs to be evaluated by a vulvovaginal specialist.
What Causes Vaginal Itching?
Vaginal itching may be due to several factors including, contact dermatitis, vaginal infections, and fluctuating hormone levels.
Vaginal itching without a discharge is not usually a cause for concern and typically resolves within a few days or weeks. However, if you have a persistent vaginal itch that has not been relieved after the use of medication, you could have lichen sclerosus.
What is Lichen Sclerosus?
Lichen sclerosus is a chronic skin disorder that mostly affects the skin of the vulva. The vulva is the external genitalia which is made up of the labia minora, labia majora, vestibule, and clitoris.
Lichen sclerosus is in the family of dermatoses that includes eczema, seborrhea, and psoriasis.
Symptoms of Lichen Sclerosus
Itching is the main symptom of lichen sclerosus, but it also causes pain and scarring. The skin also becomes thin, wrinkly, and shiny. When lichen sclerosus progresses, it can change the appearance and structure of the genital area by causing the inner and outer lips of the vagina to fuse.
Lichen sclerosus can also cause burning dur to fissures and white patches on the skin.
Diagnosing and Treating Lichen Sclerosus
Lichen sclerosus can be easily diagnosed by a physician with the appropriate expertise. However, it is often misdiagnosed by physicians who are not familiar with the early signs and symptoms of the condition.
Lichen sclerosus is a chronic condition that cannot be cured but can be effectively managed.
After many years of clinical observation and research, Dr. R. Stuart Fowler of Fowler GYN International (FGI) has developed targeted treatment protocols for lichen sclerosus.
FGI treats lichen sclerosus with low-dose corticosteroids. Low-dose corticosteroids can also manage the condition in the long term. Severe cases of lichen sclerosus are treated with high-dose corticosteroids.