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Lichen Sclerosus

*Lichen sclerosus facts

*Lichen sclerosus facts author:

  • Lichen sclerosus is a long-term problem of the skin that mostly affects the genital and perianal areas.
  • Lichen sclerosus is most commonly seen in post-menopausal women. It is uncommon in men and children.
  • Symptoms of lichen sclerosus include small white, shiny, smooth spots on the skin that grow into bigger plaques that become thin and crinkled. The skin may tear easily, and bright red or purple bruises are common. There may also be itching, bleeding, and blisters.
  • The cause of lichen sclerosus is unknown but may be the result of an overactive immune system and hormone problems.
  • Lichen sclerosus is not contagious.
  • Lesions from lichen sclerosus on the arms or upper body usually go away without treatment. If lesions appear on the genitals, treatment for women involves topical prescription-strength steroid cream or ointment.
  • Skin scarred by lichen sclerosus is somewhat more likely to develop skin cancer.

What is lichen sclerosus?

Lichen sclerosus is a long-term problem of the skin. It mostly affects the genital and anal areas. Sometimes, lichen sclerosus appears on the upper body, breasts, and upper arms.

Who gets lichen sclerosus?

Lichen sclerosus appears in:

  • Women (often after menopause)
  • Men (uncommon)
  • Children (rare).

What are the symptoms?

Early in the disease, small white spots appear on the skin. The spots are usually shiny and smooth. Later, the spots grow into bigger patches. The skin on the patches becomes thin and crinkled. Then the skin tears easily, and bright red or purple bruises are common. Sometimes, the skin becomes scarred. If the disease is a mild case, there may be no symptoms.

Other symptoms are:

  • Itching (very common)
  • Discomfort or pain
  • Bleeding
  • Blisters.


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