Throughout the year, we attend various medical conferences where healthcare providers inform us that Lichen Sclerosus is a prevalent condition among their female patients. However, discussing intimate health conditions is often difficult. If you experience vulval itching, soreness, splitting, or notice any changes to your vulva's appearance, it's crucial to consult your GP immediately. If your symptoms persist or you feel that your diagnosis is incorrect, you can ask for a second opinion from a specialist vulval dermatologist or within the practice.
What is Lichen Sclerosus?
Lichen Sclerosus is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that primarily affects the genital area in women, including the vulva and anus, as well as the penis tip and foreskin in men. Although it is most common in women, children can also be affected, particularly girls before puberty. Lichen Sclerosus can cause various symptoms, such as itching, pain, tearing/cracking of the skin, bruising of the vulva, and white, itchy patches on the skin. Lack of treatment over time can lead to skin splitting and vulva fusion in severe cases.
It is important to visit a GP as soon as possible if you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above. Patients with the symptoms should have a history taken and an examination by a qualified health professional who is able to make a diagnosis. A small skin sample may need to be taken and examined under a microscope to confirm the diagnosis. The exact cause of Lichen Sclerosus is unknown, but it can manifest itself as a dermatological condition and can also appear on skin that has been damaged from a previous injury.
How can Lichen Sclerosus be treated?
Effective treatment involves the regular application of strong steroid ointments, emollients, and good skincare. Approximately 8 out of 10 patients have an excellent response to this approach, and the long-term use of topical steroids on an intermittent basis can maintain symptom control in most women without causing side effects. While the primary treatment is the use of a strong steroid, many of our customers with Lichen Sclerosus report the benefits they have experienced from using YES natural lubricants, moisturisers, and washes, as the products work to calm, moisturise, and lubricate sensitive tissues.
How can YES support your self-care routine?
Sex can become painful with LS as the vulval skin can tighten and make penetration uncomfortable, so the use of a natural lubricant can enable lovemaking without discomfort. YES OB plant-oil-based lubricant is recommended by the majority of customers due to its long-lasting, soothing properties. YES VM is a daily use vaginal moisturiser that helps alleviate discomfort, itching, burning, and irritation. YES CLEANSE is an intimate foam wash that is sensitively formulated with natural ingredients and is pH-matched to the vagina, protecting rather than disrupting the vaginal environment.
If you think you may have Lichen Sclerosus, seek a second opinion in the practice, or ask to be referred to a specialist vulval dermatologist.