HAVE YOU HEARD OF... LICHEN SCLEROSUS?
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.