Vulvar lichen sclerosus is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that most commonly affects the vulva, groin, and perianal region of postmenopausal women. Less frequently, it affects men and children, and it can develop in extragenital areas.
Symptoms may include itching (pruritus), discomfort or pain, smooth white spots, blotchy and wrinkled patches of skin, easy bruising or tearing, and, in severe cases, bleeding, blistering, or ulcerated lesions. The exact cause isn’t known, but the condition is not contagious.
Vulvar lichen sclerosus is often misdiagnosed or not diagnosed, sometimes due to patients’ reluctance to seek help. But research estimates a prevalence of approximately 5.3 million individuals in the U.S. and Europe.