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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
What is lichen sclerosus?
Lichen sclerosus is a skin condition that most often affects the vulva, penis, or skin around the anus. The cause of lichen sclerosus may not be known.
What are the signs and symptoms of lichen sclerosus?
You may not have any symptoms, or you may have any of the following:
- Pain, itching, or burning
- Areas of skin that are thin, wrinkled, and white
- Bleeding, bruises, or tears on affected skin
How is lichen sclerosus diagnosed?
Your healthcare provider will ask about your symptoms. He or she will also examine your skin. A sample of your skin may be taken and sent to a lab for tests.
How is lichen sclerosus treated or managed?
You do not need treatment if you do not have any symptoms. Your healthcare provider may recommend a steroid cream or ointment. Your provider may also recommend a topical medicine that prevents your immune system from attacking your skin. If you are female, your healthcare provider may recommend that you do not take bubble baths, or use scented soaps and scented detergents. This may help decrease irritation of the vulva. Rarely, adults may need surgery to repair scarring that can occur over time.
When should I contact my healthcare provider?
- Your symptoms do not get better with treatment.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Care AgreementYou have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.
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