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What does lichen sclerosus look like in online images?

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Quick Answer

Lichen sclerosus is a skin condition that creates skin that is white, patchy and thinner than expected. It typically manifests itself in the genital area, namely the skin around the vulva, anus or foreskin of the penis, according to Mayo Clinic.

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Full Answer

Lichen sclerosus is an uncommon skin condition that appears most often in postmenopausal women. The disease rarely manifests itself in men and children. The skin around the genitals is most often affected, though the torso, arms and breasts are sometimes afflicted. At first, small white spots appear on the skin that later thin and turn into patches. The skin is prone to ripping as it is very fragile and reddish-purplish bruises form after tearing.

Additional symptoms may include bleeding, itching and blisters. Although the disease sometimes clears up on its own, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, treatment is recommended as it can worsen over time.

Men with lichen sclerosus can opt for a circumcision, which typically effectively clears up the problem. Surgery for women is not recommended because relapses are common. Therefore, strong cortisone creams and other such ointments are the standard treatment, notes NIAMS. Doctors are unsure as to what causes lichen sclerosus, but it is relatively easy to diagnose: A doctor will perform a physical examination and perhaps do a biopsy.

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