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Lichen Sclerosus

What Is Lichen Sclerosus?

Lichen sclerosus is a skin disorder in which an area of the skin becomes thinned, wrinkled, white and patchy. Though it can appear anywhere on the body, the disorder most often occurs on the skin outside of the vagina (vulva) or the skin around the anus.

Anyone can develop lichen sclerosus, but postmenopausal women are at the highest risk. The immediate causes are unknown, but several factors may contribute, including:

  • An injury to the skin

  • Heredity

  • Hormonal changes

  • Overactive immune system


Some mild cases of lichen sclerosus don’t show any symptoms. When symptoms do appear, the most common are:

  • Itching — The skin may become itchy and irritated.

  • Skin tears or bruises — Thinned skin may bruise or tear more easily.

  • White, patchy spots — These patches can increase in size over time.

Treatment Options

Lichen sclerosus may resolve on its own, but if treatment is required, the most effective treatment is:

  • Corticosteroid creams or ointments — Topical corticosteroids are frequently the first choice, as they can reduce inflammation in itchy or painful skin.

Ready for an Appointment?

If you're experiencing signs or symptoms of lichen sclerosus, schedule an appointment or call 800-TEMPLE-MED (800-836-7536) today.

Learn more about our doctors and care team who diagnose and treat lichen sclerosus.