If the skin around your genital area is itchy and sticky, you should consider visiting your gynecologist, because you may have lichen sclerosus. Lichen sclerosus is a chronic skin disorder that can persist for many years, so it’s important to get checked early. But how do you treat lichen sclerosus, and what are the signs and symptoms?
It is not exactly clear what causes lichen sclerosus, but medical researchers have identified possible factors including genetics, infections, and immune disorders. It is very common in postmenopausal women.
The usual symptoms of lichen sclerosus include white spots on the vulva, irritation, and vaginal pain and discomfort. It may also cause the skin to become thin and whitened. In advanced cases the lips of the vagina may fuse, a development that may cause the small lip of the vagina to no longer be visible.
Lichen sclerosus is often diagnosed based on visual clinical signs, but since these signs are not always present, it often takes a vulvovaginal specialist to accurately diagnose the condition (learn more).
Treating Lichen Sclerosus
Lichen Sclerosus cannot be cured, but it can be managed effectively, in order to prevent it from worsening. In the early stages of the disorder topical corticosteroid ointment is often used to relieve inflammation and itching. The ointment can also reduce the white patches on the skin. Tropical tricyclic antidepressants (TCA’s) are used for pain management.
Fowler GYN International (FGI) has done a lot of research into vaginal disorders including lichen sclerosus. They have found that maintenance therapy using low potency corticosteroid is an effective way to manage the disorder, once it has been brought under control.
Contact Dr. R. Stuart Fowler of FGI at 480-420-4001 to find out more about how to treat lichen sclerosus. You can also visit FGI online at fowlergyninternational.com/contact-us.