If you notice white, patchy skin developing on your vagina, you may have a condition known as lichen sclerosus. At Turner Medical Arts in Santa Barbara, California, Duncan Turner, MD, understands the embarrassment this condition can cause and offers accurate, in-office diagnostics so you can start treatment quickly. Find out more about available treatments for lichen sclerosus by calling Turner Medical Arts or booking a consultation online today.
Lichen sclerosus is a condition that causes white, patchy skin to form on the genitals and anus. While uncommon, lichen sclerosus can affect anyone of any age, though menopausal women are especially prone to developing the condition.
The cause of lichen sclerosus isn’t clear, but hormone imbalances may be a factor. You may also develop the condition if you have an existing immune system disorder.
While the white, patchy skin on your anus and genitals is the hallmark symptom of lichen sclerosus, you can also develop other symptoms that need require diagnosis and treatment.
Common signs and symptoms of lichen sclerosus include:
As a result of these symptoms, you can experience low self-esteem or embarrassment and sex may become painful.
Lichen sclerosus isn’t contagious, but if left untreated the condition can cause additional medical complications, including constipation, urination difficulties, and an increased risk for the development of a skin cancer, known as squamous cell carcinoma.
In many cases, lichen sclerosus is treatable, though it often becomes a recurrent condition. The goal of treatment is to address existing symptoms and help you manage the condition in the long term.
Dr. Turner can evaluate the severity and location of lichen sclerosus to determine the best course of treatment. He may also take a small tissue sample for a biopsy to confirm your diagnosis and check for early signs of cancer.
Treatment for lichen sclerosus often includes topical corticosteroids that you apply directly to the affected skin. This type of medication can reduce itching and redness, allowing your skin to heal. Other topical medications may be necessary if corticosteroids aren’t effective or if the condition returns.
Dr. Turner monitors your skin health through routine follow-up appointments to identify recurrent lichen sclerosus systems and creates a long-term care plan to help you manage the condition effectively.
If you suspect you have symptoms relating to lichen sclerosus, schedule a diagnostic evaluation at Turner Medical Arts online or by phone today.