Lichen sclerosus is a rare type of skin rash believed to be linked to hormone deficiencies; the effects of lichen sclerosus are most common around the genital area.
In many cases, lichen sclerosus does not cause any symptoms. According to the Mayo Clinic, it is possible to have the condition and not be aware of it until it finally flares up.
The rash caused by lichen sclerosus usually begins as large, white splotches, which, over time, develop into patches of wrinkled skin. Common locations for this rash are the vulva, foreskin or around the anus, but lichen sclerosus can affect any part of the body.
Types of Symptoms
Common symptoms of lichen sclerosus include moderate to severe itching, discomfort, tenderness, easy bruising, tearing of the affected skin, and pain during sexual intercourse. Severe cases sometimes result in bleeding, blistering or ulcerated growths on the skin.
For women, the symptoms of lichen sclerosus may lessen sexual activity due to the resulting pain and pressure, as well as a narrowing of the vaginal opening that sometimes occurs with the condition. For men, lichen sclerosus of the foreskin can making passing urine or maintaining an erection difficult.
Lichen sclerosus is a long-term condition, with symptoms that are likely to persist for months or even years, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.