Deepika Monga

Ballarat Specialist Women's Health
1015 Mair Street, Ballarat, Victoria

ph: 03 5333 5088

Lichen Sclerosis

Lichen Sclerosis is a condition that causes white patches, itching and pain on the skin around the vaginal opening.

It is commonly seen after menopause, though can be seen in girls as young as 10 years.

Symptoms of lichen sclerosis

  • Itching around the vaginal opening
  • Itching, bleeding, or pain around the opening of “back passage”
  • Pain during sex.
  • Skin changes outside the vagina. The skin may appear white and “parchment like”, with “splits” that sometimes bleed.

The condition is confirmed by vulvoscopy (looking at the skin with a microscope) and by biopsy test, where a small sample of skin is taken from the area with symptoms.  Another doctor looks at the sample under a microscope. It can show if lichen sclerosis or a different condition is causing symptoms.

Doctors cannot get rid of lichen sclerosis that affects the vulva, it is a lifelong condition.  It is important for women with this condition to get treatment as soon as possible and use steroid cream as recommended. Lichen sclerosis that is not treated can make scars form in the vulva. The scars can cause permanent damage, including narrowing of the vaginal opening. 1 in 20 women can develop a pre-cancer or a cancer in this area, hence it is important to get this checked regularly, once or twice a year.

Back to top