Because lichen sclerosus is not a very common skin condition, you may never have heard of it until you or someone you know has it.
Lichen sclerosus is a skin condition that creates a discoloration of the skin which becomes whitish, patchy and is very itchy. In time, the skin will become thinner in that area. Left untreated, it can lead to other complications. Most people will require some form of treatment, while for others the lichen eventually disappears on its own, perhaps to return later.
Lichen Sclerosus (LS) is considered an autoimmune condition, which means even if it “clears up”, it may return. Autoimmune diseases live in your body forever which means treatment can be life long.
Anyone of any age can get Lichen Sclerosus (LS). It is mostly seen in the menopause or post menopausal years in women and sometimes presents itself during the puberty years. It can involve any area of skin, but is very often seen in the genitalia area.
In menopausal women, it can affect the vaginal area. The skin in and around the area becomes itchy, and sore, presenting itself as a yeast infection with the exception that only the vagina becomes whitish. It is important to keep the affected area clean at all times. If lichen is left untreated, the white patches can turn to blisters, becoming sore and possibly infected. Lichen Scelrosus is not contagious and so will not be transferred during sex.
Men aren’t immune from this either. Men who get lichen are usually uncircumcised affecting the area around the foreskin. In both men, and women, it can also be present on the anus. Again, it is important to keep the area clean during treatment.