Itching and soreness in the vulva are all signs of lichen sclerosus. While lichen sclerosus is not a life-threatening disorder, it can bring about a lot of psychological distress and negatively impact the quality of life. Therefore, it is crucial to get the condition treated early. But how can you treat lichen sclerosus?
What Is Lichen Sclerosus?
Lichen sclerosus is a chronic skin disorder that causes severe itching of the external genitalia. The external genitalia consists of the labia minora, labia majora, vestibule, and clitoral hood.
Scratching the skin in response to the persistent itching can cause soreness and inflammation and lead to fissures (tiny paper-like cuts).
Lichen sclerosus is also characterized by areas of small white patches on the skin. The condition also makes the skin appear shiny and wrinkly and feel sticky and tight.
Other symptoms of lichen sclerosus include redness, pain with urination, bleeding, and pain with intercourse.
Lichen sclerosus is not infectious, contagious, or inflammatory. Researchers are not sure what causes lichen sclerosus, but they believe it has an autoimmune link.
How Is Lichen Sclerosus Diagnosed?
A diagnosis of lichen sclerosus is arrived at after a thorough physical examination of the affected area.
It is essential to diagnose lichen sclerous as early as possible because if the condition is left untreated, it can result in loss of the vulva minora and fusion over the clitoris. tissues strike out.
Delayed diagnosis of lichen sclerosus can also cause the labia minora (small folds of the vagina) to fuse to the labia majora (large folds of the vagina). The fusion may take place above or below the clitoris and impact the sensitivity of the clitoris. It can also reduce the diameter of the vaginal opening and cause tearing with intercourse.
If you are experiencing symptoms of lichen sclerosus, be sure to visit a gynecologist with the necessary skill and experience in diagnosing and treating the condition. The early signs of lichen sclerosus are very subtle and are often overlooked by some physicians. Consequently, mild cases of the disorder often go undiagnosed.
Treating Lichen Sclerosus
Lichen sclerosus cannot be cured but can be managed effectively when diagnosed early.
Severe cases of lichen sclerosus are treated with potent corticosteroids, and low-dose corticosteroids are used to treat mild to moderate cases. Low-potency corticosteroids are also used for the long-term management of the symptoms of lichen sclerosus.
Fowler GYN International (FGI) are experts in vulvovaginal healthcare. As a result, they can successfully treat women with lichen sclerosus and other vulvovaginal conditions. Because of their extensive experience treating lichen sclerosus, FGI can quickly recognize the symptoms and get patients started on a treatment protocol early. They believe episodic treatment with supra-potent steroids is inappropriate.
FGI recommends that women with lichen sclerosus use hypocontactant skincare products, as they generally have sensitive genital tissues. Traditional hygiene products often contain chemicals that can irritate the vaginal tissues and result in symptoms such as itching and redness.
Hypocontactant skincare products do not include dyes, detergents, and fragrances, which can irritate the skin. While these irritants don’t cause lichen sclerosus, they can prolong flare-ups.
Most patients experience an improvement in symptoms a few weeks after treatment. Once the initial symptoms have subsided, lichen sclerosus can be controlled with low potency corticosteroids. Maintenance therapy will help to prevent the resurgence of symptoms and avoid changes to the skin.