Lichen Sclerosus

How it works

Lichen sclerosus is a long-term skin condition primarily affecting the genital and anal areas. This condition causes your skin to become thin, white, and wrinkled. This is due to inflammation and other skin changes in the affected area. Symptoms include itching, irritation, and pain during sex.


The cause of lichen sclerosus is unknown. A defective immune system or hormonal imbalance may be to blame. Previous skin damage may increase the likelihood of lichen sclerosus at a particular site on the body.

Lichen sclerosus is not contagious and cannot be spread through sexual intercourse.

In children, the signs and symptoms may improve at puberty, but they will still need monitoring for disease activity.

Risk factors

Lichen sclerosus rates are higher in postmenopausal women, but it can also be diagnosed in children and men. Uncircumcised men need to be particularly careful when dealing with the condition as it usually impacts the foreskin.


Patients with lichen sclerosus may experience painful sex, urinary retention, constipation, or an inability to retraction the foreskin. Squamous cell carcinoma also occurs in people with lichen sclerosus.

If you’re concerned about lichen sclerosus, contact Regina Hill, MD, for expert diagnosis and treatment.


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