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A Journal on Internal Medicine

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Minerva Medica 2002 April;93(2):95-100

language: English

Lichen sclerosus. A review

Wong Y. W., Powell J., Oxon M. A.


Lichen sclerosus is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that can cause substantial physical and psychological morbidity. It most commonly affects women in the anogenital region, but may affect any area of skin in either sex at any age. Not only does it cause itching and soreness, but also urinary and sexual problems. There is an increased risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma in the genital area in both female and male sufferers, thus long term follow-up may be justified. The aetiology of Lichen sclerosus is unknown but genetic factors play a role, and chronic infection had been postulated but not proven. The association with autoimmune disease is also well recognized. The mainstay of treatment for genital lichen sclerosus is potent topical steroid. Surgery may be required only to relieve the effect of scarring. Current research to understand the pathogenesis of disease may allow us to target specific intervention in the future.

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