Lichen Sclerosus, also known as Planus, is along-term skin condition that postmenopausal women are most exposed to. It forms itchy,smooth, or crinkledwhite skin patches thatcan appear just about anywhere but usually around the genital and anal areas. These patches can bleed easily or hurt if rubbed or scratched, and although they can be treated with cream and ointments, they can reappear on a constant basis which can be excruciating.
Lichen Sclerosus is an incurable, chronic inflammatory skin disorderthat changesthe life of those who suffer from it. From painful intercourse, urinary retention, constipation to the inability to retract the foreskin of men genitals, the complications of this unfamiliar disease extends beyond the physical. It dramatically impairs the quality of life of millions of patients worldwide.
If you suffer from this disorder and you have tried everything to reduce the scarring tendency, there’s one natural solution you may not have considered. The therapeutic potential of this safe and effective compound will improve the quality of your life. Curious? Stay with us to learn more.
Lichen Sclerosus Causes
Some people might think that Lichen Sclerosus results from poor personal hygiene, but that’s untrue. However, understanding the causes of this disease remains complicated. Research suggests that it is caused by an overactive immune systemmistakenly attacking and damaging your skin or an imbalance of hormones. Moreover, some scientists believe that a genetic predisposition to Lichen Sclerosus exists.
Even though it often occurs in postmenopausal women, anyone can get lichen Sclerosus. It’s classified as part of a group of vaginal disorders called vulvodynia. Therefore, it is not contagious and cannot be spread through sexual intercourse, so you can breathe easy in that regard.
Lichen Sclerosus Symptoms
As explained above, this skin condition is characterized by skin changes of the external genitalia and anal area. In people with vaginas, its typical distribution regions involve the vulva, around the vagina’s opening, and perineum. In comparison, people with penises can develop patches on the foreskin and end of the penis, especially if they’re uncircumcised. In this case, the disease is known as balanitis xerotica obliterans.
Lichen Sclerosuscanalso affect any skin surface, particularly where previous skin damage has taken place. It means that the upper body, upper arms, and breasts are not exempt. Skin tissue becomes thin, shiny, wrinkled, and parchment-like.
Although people with mild Lichen Sclerosus may present no clinical manifestations at all, the usual signs and symptoms are:
- Chronic itching (pruritus) and soreness
- Discomfort or pain
- Smooth white patches on your skin
- Blotchy, wrinkled patches
- Tearing or bleeding
- In severe cases, bleeding, blistering or ulcerated sores
- Painful sex
Symptoms may vary from person to person and may change by occurrence.
Over time, the skin affected becomes tight, causing discomfort and functional problems such as difficulty in urination, defecation, and Vaginismus (tensing of the vaginal muscles during penetration).
This tension in the lower pelvic floor muscles during attempted sex can increase pain, and insufficient arousal with subsequent avoidance and low libido. In people with penises, erection problems, difficulty urinating, and phimosis (inability to retract the foreskin) can occur.
Lichen Sclerosus lesions may develop into squamous cell carcinoma of the affected area. Although the risk is low, it's a good idea to check yourself regularly and see your doctor every 6 to 12 months to be checked for any skin changes or treatment side effects. If you notice a lump or ulcer that does not go away, talk to your doctor immediately.
Lichen Planus vs. Lichen Sclerosus
Both Lichen Sclerosus (LS) and Lichen Planus (LP) are immunologically mediated diseases with a preference for the genitalia. The primary differentiator between these two chronic conditions is that LP has a propensity to involve the mucous membranes of the mouth and vagina, which are rarely affected in LS.
Moreover, the first-line treatment for LS is a super-potent topical corticosteroid ointment with a high response rate, while erosive vulvovaginal LP is more challenging to treat. Second-line therapies include topical calcineurin inhibitors and systemic agents. There is limited evidence for systemic treatments for both skin disorders. Finally, the risk of vulval squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is high in LP and LS.
Lichen Sclerosus Diet
Currently, there is almost no research on the impact of diet on Lichen Sclerosus. The Vulval Pain Society highlights the potential benefit of diet changes that affect pain level, like a low-oxalate diet. Nevertheless, these findings are not conclusive, and in fact, another study has already refuted the low-oxalate diet.
Even though there’s a lack of solid evidence, if your urinalysis indicates that you have high levels of oxalate, you should considerate altering your diet as an option. While eliminating high-oxalate food is effective for some women, some alternative diet plans can be efficient as well. Talk to your physician about the potential benefits of the autoimmune protocol diet to determine which food plan is best for you to try. Meanwhile, we invite you to check this fantastic Healthline article where you can find a list of safe foods for you and the food items you should avoid.
Lichen Sclerosus Treatment
This skin disorder typically has a remitting relapsing course complicated by permanent scarring of the affected areas. Vulvar Lichen Sclerosus requires aggressive treatment and life-long monitoring to avert scarring and minimize the risk of squamous cell carcinoma.
Treatment consists of the use of ultra potent corticosteroids ointments prescribed by your doctor (the use of creams is discouraged). Studies have shown that the regular use of Topical Corticosteroids usually helps to manage symptoms and decrease the risk of skin cancer. When used correctly, they are safe and highly effective.
Although the traditional treatment can help, the long-term use of a potent preparation on the vulva may eventually cause cutaneous atrophy, striae, and secondary candidiasis.
Second-line treatments include topical tacrolimus or pimecrolimus, phototherapy, and oral immunosuppressive medications. In very severe cases in women, surgical removal of affected skin layers may prove beneficial, but there’s a high recurrence after surgery. In males with foreskin involved, circumcision may be helpful.
Along with these, making some lifestyle adjustments such as washing the affected areas with emollient soap substitutes instead of regular soap may help. You can also gently dab your genitals dry after peeing, wear cotton or silk underwear, and last but not least, use vaginal lubricant if sex turns uncomfortable. To prevent Lichen Sclerosus complications, you must not scratch or rub the affected skin, wear tight or restrictive clothes or wash your underwear with detergent – use only water instead.
In addition to these recommendations, consider Cannabidiol. (CBD) is one of over 100 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant growing in popularity in recent years due to its promising therapeutic effects.
CBD and Lichen Sclerosus
Currently, there’s not enough specific research on CBD oil for Lichen Sclerosis. While anecdotal reports from people who have tried CBD for Lichen Sclerosus are promising, clinical evidence to support its use is insufficient. Whereas a number of open questions await to be answered, we hope to see in the future more focused research on CBD oil for Lichen Slerosus to support these claims.
GoLove and Lichen Sclerosus
Sexual problems in people with Lichen Sclerosus are common but not inevitable. When they occur, the person who’s suffering and their partner, if any, need to be aware that sexual problems can be treated and there is help available. We know that when you suffer from Lichen Sclerosus or Planus, intercourse can be a challenging, painful experience that causes sexual anxiety.
This is where GoLove can be a tremendous support. This luxurious CBD serum moisturizes and hydrates your delicate skin. When your skin is calm and soothed, you may find it easier to relax and in turn connect with your lover or enjoy solo play. Don't lose your sexual desire, pamper yourself with this Ph.D. formulated, water-based serum, and invite satisfying sex once again into your life. Don't put off intimacy any longer. GoLove instead.