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5 Common Signs of Lichen Sclerosus

5 Common Signs of Lichen Sclerosus

Your skin plays a vital role in protecting your body. It keeps out external substances, helps regulate body temperature, and allows you to feel objects by touch. As your body’s first line of defense, it’s also prone to problems like dry skin, moles, acne, and eczema.

Some skin conditions are rare and only affect specific areas of the body, including lichen sclerosus, which mainly affects the skin around your genitals and anal area. Lichen sclerosus isn’t common, but there are signs to look out for. Five common ones are listed below.

If you believe you’re dealing with lichen sclerosus or have other concerns with your genital area,

Dr. Neeraj Kohli and our team here at BostonUrogyn can help.

Understanding lichen sclerosus

Lichen sclerosus is a condition that causes patchy, discolored skin to form in the genital and anal areas. It can affect anyone, but the risk is higher for:

 Most cases are found in women experiencing menopause. The condition isn’t contagious.

Common signs of lichen sclerosus

The cause of lichen sclerosus isn't entirely understood, but risk factors include immune system problems, hormone imbalances, family history, and skin damage due to other skin conditions.

Signs you may be experiencing lichen sclerosus include:

These symptoms usually appear on or near the genitals and anus, but the skin on your breasts, back, upper arms, and shoulders may also be affected.

Vulvar lichen sclerosus can cause further complications, like painful sex due to drying and cracking of the skin and an increased risk of squamous cell carcinoma. 

Treating lichen sclerosus

Lichen sclerosus isn’t curable, but it can be treated. On occasion, the condition goes away on its own. Otherwise, steroid creams and ointments can help reduce inflammation and relieve itchiness, soreness, or scarring. 

If the condition is causing your vaginal opening to narrow, surgery can help widen the opening and reduce discomfort.

At-home remedies to relieve lichen sclerosus symptoms include moisturizing the affected area, using lubricants during sex, avoiding rubbing or scratching, and wearing loose-fitting clothing. 

These treatment options work better if the condition is caught early. But if you have lichen sclerosus at any stage, we can help. Make an appointment today with Dr. Kohli at either BostonUrogyn location, in Hudson or Wellesley, Massachusetts, to find relief.

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