Lichen sclerosus is an inflammatory skin condition that can cause severe itching, redness, and genital pain in post-menopausal women. At Progressive Womens Health, compassionate OB/GYN Asia Mohsin, MD, provides diagnosis and treatment of lichen sclerosus in a welcoming atmosphere in Friendswood, Texas. For understanding and supportive care of all menopause and post-menopause issues, call the office or click on the online booking tool today.
Lichen sclerosus is a skin disorder causing discoloration and discomfort in the vulva (the outer part of a woman’s genitals) and anus. It usually develops in post-menopausal women but also affects younger women and men.
The cause of lichen sclerosus isn’t certain, but experts believe that hormone imbalance, immune system malfunction, genetics, and physical trauma may contribute.
Lichen sclerosus can cause varying symptoms based on its severity. Milder cases may not cause obvious symptoms. The most common signs of lichen sclerosus include genital symptoms such as:
Because lichen sclerosus can be so itchy, many women scratch vigorously, often leading to broken skin, bleeding, and open sores. Over time, those sores can form tough scars.
Dr. Mohsin performs a pelvic exam to diagnose lichen sclerosus. Because some symptoms can be similar to those of other vulvar conditions, Dr. Mohsin may collect a sample of cells from your vulva for testing (a skin biopsy). This helps to rule out other conditions and verify that you have lichen sclerosus.
Lichen sclerosus treatment usually includes both lifestyle changes and medication.
Anything that increases friction and irritation in your vulva can worsen itching and discomfort. Simple changes like wearing looser undergarments, avoiding bike riding, and changing to an unscented laundry detergent can lessen your symptoms.
Topical corticosteroid cream can reduce inflammation and itching effectively. You’ll typically apply the cream twice a day in the beginning. Once your symptoms recede, Dr. Mohsin recommends a less frequent maintenance schedule, for example, twice a week, to prevent a recurrence.
If lifestyle changes and medicated creams don’t adequately calm your lichen sclerosus symptoms, Dr. Mohsin can prescribe other treatments such as light therapy or immunosuppressant medications.
While lichen sclerosus isn’t curable, proper medical care can make you comfortable and restore your quality of life.
If you have itching, pain during intercourse, or other troubling issues, call Progressive Womens Health or click on the online booking tool to make your appointment.