Lichen sclerosus describes a condition in which the skin around a woman’s genitals thins and turns white, causing great discomfort. At Antheia Gynecology, with offices in East Windsor and Freehold, New Jersey, the female-led board-certified team of OB/GYNs offers treatment that can prevent worsening of the condition and any consequent scarring. If you suspect you have lichen sclerosus, call the nearest location or use the online booking tool to make an appointment.
Lichen sclerosus causes white spots and itching in the tissue surrounding the genitals and perineal region. You may also experience the following.
Lichen sclerosus overwhelmingly appears in women but can occur in men and children in rare instances. The condition may also affect other areas of your body, such as the breasts and arms.
Lichen sclerosus most often affects post-menopausal women, but why it develops isn’t clearly understood. Hormonal imbalances or a faulty immune system are thought to be to blame.
A genetic component to the condition can develop in areas where scarring or trauma to the skin occurred. The condition is not contagious or caused by a fungus, bacteria, or virus.
Lichen sclerosus increases your risk of developing cancer of the vulva – but the condition doesn’t directly cause skin cancer. The side effects of the condition include:
These may affect your relationships and overall quality of life.
The doctors at Antheia Gynecology are specialists in identifying lichen sclerosus. They perform a comprehensive physical exam and pelvic exam. After reviewing your medical history, symptoms, and a biopsy of suspicious tissue, they can make a definitive diagnosis.
Ointments and creams minimize pain and reduce itching in affected tissue. These topical applications contain corticosteroids that can clear up lichen sclerosus. In some cases, you need to commit to regular use of these medications to prevent the condition from recurring.
The MonaLisa Touch® laser may also be an effective way to reduce the discomfort associated with lichen sclerosus. The heat energy stimulates collagen growth and blood flow, strengthening vaginal tissue, and promoting rehydration. Other alternative treatments for the skin condition are available.
If you have signs of lichen sclerosus but no physical symptoms, you should still seek treatment. The condition can interfere with urination or sexual intercourse. You also require regular monitoring of the affected skin to make sure you have no other major skin changes.
If you have patches of thinning skin around your genitals, consult with the team at Antheia Gynecology for relief. Call the nearest office or book online to be evaluated for lichen sclerosus.