What is Lichen Sclerosus and What Can You Do to Help this Skin Condition?
What is lichen sclerosus?
This is a skin condition that causes itchy white patches on the genitals - or sometimes other parts of the body. While there is no cure at this time, treatment can help relieve the symptoms.
What are the symptoms of lichen sclerosus?
Lichen sclerosus affects people of all ages, including children. But it's much more common in women over fifty.
It causes patches on the skin that are usually:
- smooth or crinkled
- easily damaged – they may bleed or hurt if rubbed or scratched
- the skin affected can be thinner than usual
To sum up, small white or shiny spots appear on your skin. These small spots develop into larger plaques which become thinner and crinkled. Skin can tear more easily and there may be bleeding, blisters and itching.It is not fully known why the condition occurs but the good news is that it is not contagious and cannot be passed from one person to another even via sexual intercourse.
It is possible that the condition is caused by a hormone imbalance and an overactive immune response while previous damage to the skin might also increase the chances of developing lichen sclerosus in the same area.
The condition can appear anywhere but most often occurs on the:
- area around the opening of the vagina (vulva) and anus – in girls and women
- foreskin and end of the penis – in boys and men