What is Lichen Sclerosus?

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Aug 08, 2014

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Quick Bites

  • Lichen sclerosus makes the skin thinner.
  • White patches appear on the skin.
  • If left untreated it can increase chances of skin cancer.
  • Postmenopausal women are at higher risk.

What is Lichen Sclerosus?

Lichen sclerosus is a rare condition in which white patches are formed on the skin. The disease also makes the skin thinner than normal and can affect any part of the body, especially the skin of vulva, foreskin of the penis, or skin around the anus.

Lichen Sclerosus Complications

Anyone can be at a risk of the condition but, postmenopausal women are at a higher risk. If the condition is left untreated it can cause other complications. At times no treatment may be needed as the condition can get cured on its own. However, in some conditions a medical advice may be needed to make the skin get back to its normal appearance and to decrease scarring.

What are the Complications Related to Lichen Sclerous?

When the condition is left untreated, the area affected by lichen sclerous has a high chance of skin cancer. This has not been proved though. Thus, it is important for you to take a follow-up examination every 6-12 months.

Lichen Sclerosus Complications

When a woman suffers from lichen sclerous, intercourse may become extremely painful for them. This happens because of itching and scarring that can narrow down the vaginal opening. Also, blistering can make the skin extremely sensitive which makes any pressure on the area intolerable.

Such complications may be rarely seen in men who have undergone circumcision. It happens because of tightening and thinning of foreskin. Lichen sclerous in men can cause troubles during urination and erection.

Image courtesy: Getty Images

Read more on Lichen Sclerosus.

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