How do you live with lichen sclerosus?


Quick Answer

Living with lichen sclerosus requires various medications to reduce discomfort and the likelihood of scarring, or no treatment at all, depending on the location and severity of the symptoms, according to Mayo Clinic. Some mild cases have no symptoms, states the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.

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Full Answer

Symptoms of lichen sclerosus can range from itching and pain to blisters and bleeding, according to the NIAMS. Living with symptoms that appear on the arms or upper body doesn't require medication, and the disease may go away on its own, states the NIAMS, but lichen sclerosis on the genitals requires treatment to prevent scarring that could impact sex or urination, and to alleviate any discomfort.

Treatment options include the use of corticosteroid creams and ointments to stop the itching, immune-modulating medications, topical sex hormones and the use of ultra violet light on areas other than the genitals, according to Mayo Clinic. Other treatment options include retinoids or vitamin A-like drugs, and tacrolimus ointment, states the NIAMS. Removing the affected foreskin is also an option for uncircumcised men.

The cause of lichen sclerosis is not known, as of 2015, but it is thought to be brought on by an over-active immune system or hormone problems, and that it is an inherited condition, states the NIAMS. It occurs most often in post-menopausal women, and rarely in men and children.

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