HAVE YOU HEARD OF... LICHEN SCLE­RO­SUS?

Woman & Home (South Africa) - - In Your Style -

A reader re­cently wrote to share how she’s su ered for years with vul­val itch­ing and sore­ness, which was treated by var­i­ous doc­tors as ei­ther thrush or eczema. A spe­cial­ist has now di­ag­nosed her with lichen scle­ro­sus, which she wants to raise aware­ness of. Though it can oc­cur in any area of the body, it most com­monly a ects the skin in the gen­i­tal area and around the anus. The cause isn’t known, but it is of­ten linked with other dis­eases where the body’s own im­mune sys­tem at­tacks nor­mal tis­sue. A ected skin is in­flamed, itchy and sore, and with­out treat­ment it can be­come scarred, which can be very painful. Di­ag­no­sis can be made vis­ually, from the shiny white look of the skin, or a biopsy can be done.

There is no cure, but treat­ment with a very strong steroid can stop the in­flam­ma­tion and itch­ing. Keep­ing the skin well hy­drated with a mois­tur­is­ing cream is help­ful, too.

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