Lichen sclerosis et atrophicus is a disease that causes itching and skin changes, usually in the genital area. The disease does not infect. For most people, the hassles are alleviated and many become perfectly well after treatment.
Often the disease is called only the lichen sclerosis. The cause of the disease is unknown. Lichen sclerosis represents a small increased risk of cancer of the external genitalia, but it is unusual. The risk is reduced if the disease is treated.
Lichen sclerosis is most common in women but also occurs in men and children.
Symptoms of lichen sclerosis and atrophicus
Most often, the lichen sclerosis comes into the genital area and around the rectum. It may come in other skin areas, but it is unusual.
It is common for the skin of the genital area to become thicker and then gradually thinning. The skin becomes tight, brittle and whitish. The areas with lichen sclerosis can be similar to eczema and the skin often has tear marks, blisters, and cracks.
Women can have severe itching in the genital area and the labia can contract and shrink. Men can get sweat and irritation on the eyelid and foreskin. The foreskin can also contract and shrink.
In lichen sclerosis, it can be difficult to have sex, as it itches and tightens the genital area. It may feel better to use lubricants.
When and where should I seek care?
If you think you have lichen sclerosis, contact a health care provider. You can contact many receptions by logging in.
Treatment for lichen sclerosis and atrophicus
It is important that you are careful about the hygiene of the genital area, but you should not overdo the washing and do not rub dry. You can use baby oil instead of soap and water.
The disease is usually treated with strong cortisone cream that you get on prescription. You apply the cream to the skin area where the trouble is. Sometimes you can also get lubricated with a hormone cream.
Sometimes the lichen sclerosis can also be treated with a prescription cream or ointment that counteracts inflammation without containing cortisone.