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Diseases

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Lichen sclerosus


Other Names for this Disease
  • Lichen sclerosis
  • Lichen sclerosis et atrophicus
  • Lichen sclerosus et atrophicus
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Overview

Lichen sclerosus is a chronic skin disorder that is more common in women, most often affecting the external part of the vagina (vulva) or the area around the anus. In men, it typically affects the tip of the penis. It can occur at any age but is usually seen in women over age 50. Some people have no symptoms, while others may experience itchiness (sometimes severe), discomfort, or blistering.[1][2] It often lasts for years and can cause permanent scarring. The underlying cause of lichen sclerosus is not fully understood but it is thought to relate to an autoimmune process. Treatment may include topical steroids or other types of topical creams and/or surgery.[1]
Last updated: 5/26/2015

References

  1. Lichen sclerosus. DermNet NZ. February 4, 2015; http://www.dermnetnz.org/immune/lichen-sclerosus.html.
  2. Lichen Sclerosus. NIAMS. November, 2014; http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Lichen_Sclerosus/default.asp.
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Basic Information

  • DermNet NZ is an online resource about skin diseases developed by the New Zealand Dermatological Society Incorporated. DermNet NZ provides information about this condition.
  • The Center for Young Women's Health Children's Hospital Boston has developed an online fact sheet on lichen sclerosus that you might find helpful. Click on the link above to view this information page.
  • The MayoClinic.com also provides information on lichen sclerosus. To view this information, click on the link above.
  • The Merck Manual provides information on this condition for patients and caregivers. 
  • The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) support research into the causes, treatment, and prevention of arthritis and musculoskeletal and skin diseases, the training of basic and clinical scientists to carry out this research, and the dissemination of information on research progress in these diseases. Click on the link to view information on this topic.
  • The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) is a federation of more than 130 nonprofit voluntary health organizations serving people with rare disorders. Click on the link to view information on this topic.

In Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
  • Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) is a catalog of human genes and genetic disorders. Each entry has a summary of related medical articles. It is meant for health care professionals and researchers. OMIM is maintained by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 
  • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs.  Access to this database is free of charge.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Lichen sclerosus. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.
Other Names for this Disease
  • Lichen sclerosis
  • Lichen sclerosis et atrophicus
  • Lichen sclerosus et atrophicus
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.