Lichen Sclerosus Lichen Sclerosus


Do you notice white patches on the skin around the genital and anal regions which may itch, tear or bleed?

Visit Steinberg Urology for a consultation with our urologists to address your concerns, perform diagnosis and provide you on advice as to what treatments are likely to fit your individual circumstances.

Lichen Sclerosus

Lichen sclerosus is a skin condition that appears as white patches. It is most commonly affects the skin around the genital and anal areas of the body, where it can cause pain and itching. However, it can also be found on other areas of the body, including the upper body, arms, breasts, buttocks, and outer thighs.

Lichen sclerosus occurs in boys, girls, and adult men and women. However, it is most commonly seen in females. Although it can occur at any age, it is typically seen before puberty (before girls start having menstrual periods) or after menopause (after women stop having periods). It is most frequently seen in postmenopausal women.


Signs and symptoms usually affect the skin of the genital and anal areas, but may also affect the skin of the upper body, upper arms and breasts. They may include:

  • Redness
  • Itching (pruritus), which can be severe
  • Discomfort or pain
  • Smooth white patches on your skin
  • Blotchy, wrinkled patches
  • Tearing or bleeding
  • Painful sex
  • In severe cases, bleeding, blistering or ulcerated sores

People with mild lichen sclerosus may have no signs or symptoms.


There is no clear cause of lichen sclerosus. Researchers suspect several factors may be involved, including:

  • Genetics – people with a family history may be at increased risk
  • Immune system disorder – the body’s own immune system mistakenly attacks the skin. Patients with lichen sclerosus are at greater risk of developing other autoimmune diseases including thyroid disease, vitiligo (patches of discolored skin), alopecia areata (patchy hair loss) and anemia (low red blood cell count)
  • Previous injury and damage to the affected area, including that from sexual abuse
  • Changes in hormones

Lichen sclerosus is not a sexually transmitted disease. It is not contagious and cannot be spread from person to person.


The risk of lichen sclerosus is higher for postmenopausal women, although it can occur in men and children. Men who are uncircumcised have a higher risk because the condition often affects the foreskin.

Complications of lichen sclerosus include painful sex, urinary retention, constipation and an inability to retract the foreskin. People with lichen sclerosus are also at an increased risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the affected area.

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Diagnosis is often made following a physical exam and medical history. Your physician will look for signs and ask you about symptoms of lichen sclerosus.

A skin biopsy (removal and microscope review of a small sample of affected skin) may be done to confirm the diagnosis.

Other tests may be performed to rule out other conditions that cause similar signs and symptoms.


Women who suffer from lichen sclerosus have previously had few treatment options. They just had to put up with itching, pain, lesions and compromised relationships because there was no way to get long-lasting relief from this all-too-common disease.


Corticosteroid ointments or creams are commonly prescribed for lichen sclerosus. Initially, you'll generally have to use cortisone creams or ointments on the affected skin twice a day.


The O-Shot® injection is a ground-breaking therapy for women with sexual dysfunction, vaginal dryness & lichen sclerosus.The O-Shot® delivers regeneration cells that immediately begin revitalizing muscle, tissue and nerves.


The diVa laser treatment is the newest evolution of laser vaginal therapy built on years of experience. The treatment is quick and we can target specific regions to improve localized issues.

The images and/or videos are not presented as a guarantee of result. The results may vary. Patients gave their consent for the publication of images and/or videos.


At Steinberg Urology we pride ourselves on our compassionate care we offer to those facing challenges that affect their quality of life. Our urologists have years of experience and a commitment to excellence.

If you need to discuss this sensitive medical concern, schedule a consultation at our clinic in a safe confidential environment. Let us help you achieve optimal health and wellness in a professional setting.


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