If you’re noticing itchy, white patches of skin forming around your genitals, it’s important that you schedule a diagnostic evaluation for lichen sclerosus at Bergen Aesthetics as soon as possible.
With an early diagnosis, our experienced gynecologist, Dr. Heripsime Ohanian can effectively treat the condition before it becomes painful or interferes with your quality of life.
Exactly what is lichen sclerosus?
Lichen sclerosus is a rare skin condition that causes patches to form on your skin, commonly in the genital area. These skin patches turn white and can become itchy and painful.
The medical community doesn’t fully understand what triggers lichen sclerosus symptoms, but there are contributing factors that may increase your risk for the chronic skin condition, such as:
- Skin wounds
- Genetic background
- Hormone imbalance
- Radiation therapy
Lichen sclerosus may also be a side effect of an underlying autoimmune disorder.
Lichen sclerosus can affect anyone
While postmenopausal women are the most common demographic group to be affected by lichen sclerosus, the condition can also develop in women of all ages, men, and children.
Symptoms of lichen sclerosus vary from person to person. Some people may experience mild symptoms that don’t interfere with good health, while others may have intense pain and itching that affects their physical, emotional, and sexual health.
Other serious complications of lichen sclerosus include:
- Discolored skin
- Tender bumps
- Bleeding ulcers
Women tend to develop the skin patches on the vulva, while men experience skin changes on the tip of the penis. However, lichen sclerosus can affect skin on any area of the body.
Find hope through advanced lichen sclerosus treatment
Those who develop mild symptoms of lichen sclerosus may not need any treatment, especially if symptoms aren’t bothersome. Mild lichen sclerosus symptoms often go away on their own without any medical intervention.
Dr. Ohanian provides comprehensive diagnostic care for skin conditions that affect your genital health. She performs a physical exam and offers on-site diagnostic testing to quickly determine the root cause of noticeable skin changes.
If your skin patches are intensely painful or itchy, Dr. Ohanian can help. She first does a tissue biopsy to confirm that the skin changes are related to lichen sclerosus and not another type of health condition. This involves removing a small sample of tissue from the affected area for further evaluation at a medical lab.
Once she confirms your diagnosis, Dr. Ohanian may recommend therapy with corticosteroids. These prescription or over-the-counter medications can calm the chronic irritation and inflammation in your skin to ease your symptoms.
If severe symptoms of lichen sclerosus interfere with your sexual or physical health, you may need a minimally invasive surgery procedure to remove affected tissue.
When to get help for lichen sclerosus
Ideally, you should schedule a diagnostic evaluation at Bergen Aesthetics as soon as you notice any changes in your skin, especially in the genital area. Discoloration and persistent skin irritation are often the first sign of lichen sclerosus.
With early treatment, you can reduce your risk for pain and sexual dysfunction while protecting the long-term health of your skin.
If you need diagnostic care for genital skin changes that you suspect are lichen sclerosus, schedule an appointment online or call our office in Paramus, New Jersey.