Can Lichen Sclerosus Be Cured?
Lichen sclerosus has been categorized as a skin condition that affects various areas on the body, most especially the genitals and perianal area. Many conclusions have been made about the diseases, but due to the uncertainty in its cause, no substantial conclusion has been reached. Regardless, there are a few specks of information we know about the illness. For one, lichen sclerosus is neither infectious nor is it cancerous. However, if it is left untreated, it can develop into squamous cell cancer, which is a type of skin cancer. We also know that lichen sclerosus is a chronic condition that has been linked to a hyperactive immune system as well as hormonal problems. Lichen sclerosus is an incurable disease that does not have a definitive cause, but treatment is applicable to improve the disease.
It is not possible to cure lichen sclerosus. There are a few factors that have been associated with the occurrence of lichen sclerosus including a link to other diseases and family history. Conversely, lichen sclerosus is not a common hereditary disease. As earlier mentioned, two of the common causes of LS include an overactive immune system and hormonal problems. Lichen sclerosus being an autoimmune disorder means that various factors trigger the immune system to react negatively to healthy body tissue cells, leading to the development of lichen sclerosus. Hormonal imbalance can trigger lichen sclerosus, and that is why women who have reached menopause are at a higher risk of the disease. Another important cause to note is that lichen sclerosus can develop on a previously injured or scarred area on your skin.
Symptoms of Lichen Sclerosus
Symptoms of lichen sclerosus vary from one patient to the other. This is entirely depended on their body and how they react to different diseases. While some patients may have a mild reaction to lichen sclerosus, others may experience the symptoms on a heightened level. These symptoms include;
- Mild or intensified itching.
- Discomfort and pain as well as painful sexual intercourse.
- The skin becomes weak and can easily tear or bruise.
- Lichen sclerosus manifests as smooth spots with a shiny appearance and white in color.
- The spots can develop into ulceration lesions that may bleed from time to time.
When To See The Doctor for Lichen Sclerosus?
Any of the above symptoms are enough reasons for you to visit a doctor. Most importantly, if you are having severe lichen sclerosus symptoms, then you should seek medical attention immediately. You can visit a primary care physician or better yet a dermatologist or gynecologist for treatment. In addition to that, if you have a history of lichen sclerosis, in instances where they reoccur, you should ensure to visit your doctor before the situation worsens. Itchy white patches on your genitals and pain when going to the toilet or during sex should also push you to see a doctor for testing and treatment.
What Medications Are Used In The Treatment Of Lichen Sclerosus?
Lichen sclerosus cannot be cured, but that doesn’t mean it cannot be treated. There are a variety of treatment options your physician can prescribe, which are meant to ease the symptoms of lichen sclerosus. Some of the viable prescriptions for lichen sclerosus include steroid cream. The cream should be directly applied on affected areas and whenever the symptoms are present. Corticosteroid and cortisone creams and ointments are the commonly used medications for treating lichen sclerosus. Immune-modulating-medications are also ideal to suppress your overactive immune system. Surgery can also be done to remove patches on genital areas and other places on the skin that have been affected. For non-genital areas, ultra-light therapy is advised.
The best way to manage lichen sclerosus is getting treatment as soon as symptoms are detected. This especially applies to cases where the genital and perianal areas are affected even though you aren’t experiencing any pain yet. For other parts of the skin, lichen sclerosus can heal on its own, but you can take precaution by using medication to ease the symptoms. It is vital that when you get treatment, you are well aware of your symptoms including bleeding and how long you’ve been experiencing them. On top of that, you should have a diagnostic test to determine if you are suffering from other illnesses apart from lichen sclerosus.