Post-menopausal women can develop thinning, white skin around their genitals in a condition known as lichen sclerosus. Lichen sclerosus can be extremely uncomfortable, but Dr. Ana Cha, an OB/GYN at Women’s Health Specialist of North Atlanta in Suwanee, Georgia, can help. She offers treatment that can prevent worsening of the condition and scarring. Call her office or use the online booking agent to make an appointment and get any suspicious areas of skin, especially around the vulva, examined.
Along with white spots and itching around the genitals or perineal region, you may experience the following symptoms of lichen sclerosus:
Lichen sclerosus can occur in men and children, but it’s very rare. It may also appear on other areas of your body, including your breasts and arms.
Lichen sclerosus most often develops in post-menopausal women, but the exact cause is unknown. It may be related to hormonal imbalances or a faulty immune system. A genetic component to the condition often develops in areas where scarring or trauma to the skin occurred. Lichen sclerosus is not contagious.
Women with lichen sclerosus are more likely to develop cancer of the vulva, but lichen sclerosus doesn’t directly cause skin cancer. Blistering, unbearably painful sex, and extreme itching can also interfere with your relationships and quality of life.
Dr. Cha reviews your symptoms and performs a physical exam, which may reveal the condition. A small sample of suspicious skin is also examined under a microscope to confirm lichen sclerosus.
At Women’s Health Specialist of North Atlanta, Dr. Cha offers ointments and creams to minimize pain and reduce itching. These compounds contain corticosteroids that can clear up lichen sclerosus. You may, however, need to continue to use them once or twice per week to prevent the condition from recurring.
The revolutionary laser treatment MonaLisa Touch® may also be an effective way to address the discomfort of lichen sclerosus. This vaginal laser stimulates collagen growth and blood flow, which improve the strength of the tissue of the vaginal wall and promote rehydration. Research shows that patients treated with MonaLisa Touch report a significant improvement in their symptoms.
Even if your patches aren’t itchy or painful, they should be treated because they can interfere with urination or sexual intercourse. Dr. Cha monitors the condition at regular yearly visits to make sure no major skin changes occur, too.
If you have patches of thinning skin around your genitals or pain during intercourse, contact Dr. Ana Cha for a consultation. Call Women’s Health Specialist of North Atlanta or book an appointment online to find out if you may have lichen sclerosus.