Vulvar Itching and Lichen Sclerosus: What You Need to Know

If you are experiencing vulvar itching that doctors have been unable to diagnose, you may have lichen sclerosus.  Lichen sclerosus often goes undiagnosed by doctors because they lack the expertise required to identify the condition in the early stages. Here’s what you need to know about vulvar itching and lichen sclerosus.

Vulvar Itching And Lichen Sclerosus

Vulvar itching is the main symptom of lichen sclerosus.  Lichen sclerosus is a non-infectious skin condition that often affects the external genitalia, which consists of the labia majora, labia minora, the clitoral hood, and the vestibule.

Lichen sclerosus changes the appearance of the vaginal skin, causing it to become thin, white, and wrinkly.   The scratching associated with lichen sclerosus makes the skin susceptible to fissures, and can lead to the formation of scar tissue on the vulva.

Left untreated, lichen sclerosus can cause the labia minora to fuse to the labia majora, which can affect the sensitivity of the clitoris.

Medical researchers are unsure about the etiology of lichen sclerosus, but there are indications it may have an autoimmune link.  While there is no cure for lichen sclerosus, it’s possible to manage it effectively with early treatment.

How Is Lichen Sclerosus Treated?

Lichen sclerosus is usually treated with low dose corticosteroids, which help to minimize itching and improve the appearance of the skin.

Patients with lichen sclerosus are also advised to use hypocontactant skincare products because they typically have sensitive external genitalia tissue.  This will prevent irritation from harsh ingredients in feminine hygiene products.

In some cases, vulvar itching may be caused by internal irritants linked to the vaginal secretions.  If there is a change in the normal constituents of the vaginal ecosystem, it can cause the ‘bad’ bacteria to thrive, and the subsequent vaginal secretions irritate the vaginal tissue.  Treatment involves restoring balance to the vaginal microflora.

If you are experiencing vulvar itching, it’s best to consult with a vulvovaginal specialist for a correct diagnosis.

Contact the experts in vaginal care at Fowler GYN International (FGI), Phoenix, AZ for a consultation. Dr Fowler is a former consultant in Gynecology at Mayo Clinic. He is board certified in Gynecology and created this organization to handle difficult cases.

You can reach them at www.fowlergyninternational.com, or by calling (480) 420-4001.

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