Lichen Sclerosus

It is a skin disorder that manifests as an inflammatory condition of the skin which the condition becoming chronic if the affliction is prolonged. Men, women and children are affected, but it is most common in women. Most often the outer sex organ and the anal areas are affected by the disease.

Women seems to be susceptible predominantly because of the postmenopausal stage. In some cases men can develop lichen sclerosus on the penis head. It can also appear on the upper body, breast and upper arms in some cases.

Symptoms of the Lichen Sclerosus

A subtle appearance of small white spots that may even escape notice is the early stage. The lichen sclerosus patch is shiny and smooth during the early symptoms. The spots grow bigger and become patches as time passes and the skin surface becomes thinner and thinner while being pulled in giving it a crinkled look. The skin will become delicate and tear easily. The skin can also bleed inwardly which makes the patches look bright red or purple. An aspect of this stage is discoloration.

A total disfiguration of the anal area occurs when instances occur on the anal areas. Men who are commonly afflicted by this are men who are uncircumcised. The only symptom is itching when lichen sclerosus occurs in places of the body other than the genital areas.

With lichen planus occurs on uvula extreme itching results. Sleep can even be spoiled by the itching. Painful sores can develop. It is impossible to have activities such as sex and cycling which involve pressure or friction on the area. You should avoid wearing tight clothing and tampons. The conditions of lichen sclerosus in manifest anal areas is similar to the inflammatory conditions that are found in the aftermaths of sexual abuse with children. Children with lichen sclerosus may be confused for sexual abuse.

Causes for Lichen Sclerosus

It is unknown what exactly causes lichen sclerosus. It has been discovered that sometimes an overactive immune system triggers antigens that can cause lichen sclerosus. A few have a genetic tendency towards the disease. It can also be caused by abnormally high hormone levels. Skin that are scarred or damaged can be susceptible to the disease. However, lichen sclerosus is not contagious.

Diagnosing the Lichen Sclerosus

The indicator is the skin. For early detection of the disease a biopsy test is needed. To obtain confirmation of the presence of lichen sclerosus a slice of the afflicted skin has to be tested in a laboratory.

Treatment for Lichen Sclerosus

The treatment is not that important in non-genital areas since it is mild and may even be cured in course of time depending on the good health condition of the patient. Circumcision is the most effective cure when it hit’s the genital areas in men.

Ultra potent topical corticosteroids are good for cures such as strong cortisone cream or ointments. Although prolonged use of the application is necessary for the treatment of lichen sclerosus. It may leave irreversible scars. The prolonged treatment may cause some complications to occur. The prolonged use of cartico steroids causes effects on the skin. It results in red or thin skin.

With puberty lichen sclerosus will usually disappear when young girls are afflicted early on. Therefore, not all lichen sclerosus spots need treatment in girls. Hormonal disturbances can result from prolonged use of the steroids which can cause masculine traits like low pitched voice or appearance of coarse facial hairs. Skin cancer doesn’t come from lichen sclerosus. Dermatologists and gynecologists much be approached when the lichen sclerosus sets in. The disease can also be treated by urologists and primary health care providers.

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