November 29, 2015
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Lichen Sclerosus (cont.)

Can people with lichen sclerosus have sex?

Women with severe lichen sclerosus in the genitals may not be able to have sex comfortably. The disease can cause scars that narrow the vagina. Also, sex can hurt and cause the patches to affected skin. However, treatment with creams or ointments can help. Women with severe scarring in the vagina may need surgery, but only after lichen sclerosus is controlled with medication.

Is lichen sclerosus related to cancer?

Lichen sclerosus does not cause skin cancer. However, skin that is scarred by lichen sclerosus is somewhat more likely to develop skin cancer. If you have the disease, see the doctor every 6 to 12 months. The doctor can look at and treat any changes in the skin.

What kind of doctor treats lichen sclerosus?

Lichen sclerosus is treated by:

  • Dermatologists (doctors who treat the skin)
  • Gynecologists (doctors who treat the female reproductive system)
  • Urologists (doctors who treat the urinary or urogenital tract)
  • Primary health care providers.

For more information about lichen sclerosus and other related conditions:

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
National Institutes of Health
1 AMS Circle Bethesda, MD 20892-3675
Phone: 301-495-4484
Toll Free: 877-22-NIAMS (877-226-4267)
TTY: 301-565-2966
Fax: 301-718-6366

Medically reviewed by Norman Levine, MD; American Board of Dermatology


National Institutes of Health, Department of Health & Human Services, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/31/2014


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