Lichen Sclerosus (LS) is a chronic inflammatory condition of the genital area, women are more predisposed than men, no-one knows why..?
It commonly involves non-hair bearing area genitalia.
It can be localized to one area or spread throughout the vulva &clitoris
LS is commonly associated with a “figure of 8” pattern distribution of white, dry, thick plaques of “crinkly” skin around the vulval and anal area
Over time, Lichen sclerosus may result in…
- Labia minora resorption (disappearance)
- Phimosis of the clitoral hood,
- Scarring and fissuring of the skin around and near the vaginal opening.
Troubled women may experience one or combination of the below….
- severe itch,
- burning sensation,
- painful or burning urination and
- painful sex
It is imperative to be regularly monitored by specialists as those with L have a slightly increased risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma.
Early diagnosis and detection of Lichen sclerosus helps ensure that appropriate medications are used to prevent the worsening of LS symptoms.
Laser appeared safe and effective when topical therapies ( steroid creams of various potencies) failed to control symptoms*.
Laser often temporarily improves symptoms and associated hyperkeratosis of vulvar lichen sclerosus, but there is no evidence that it alters long-term outcomes, especially malignancy risk.
Ref:Pagano T, Conforti A, Buonfantino C, et al. Effect of rescue factional microablative CO2 laser on symptoms and sexual dysfunction in women affected by vulvar lichen sclerosus resistant to long- term use of topic corticosteroid: a prospective longitudinal study. Menopause. 2020;27:418–422