Lichen Sclerosus

Lichen sclerosus (LS) is a chronic autoimmune inflammatory dermatosis that generally affects the genital skin. Women are affected 6-10 times more often than men.

LS symptoms include progressive pruritus, dyspareunia, dysuria and genital bleeding (though some people with LS don’t exhibit any symptoms). The effects of LS can cause considerable physical, emotional and psychological problems for patients. Precise causes for the disease are unknown, though they seem to be connected to autoimmune mechanisms.

Current treatment guidelines for LS involve the use of potent topical corticosteroids, like betamethasone dipropionate. A number of other treatments are available, including calcipotriol, retinoids, tacrolimus and pimecrolimus, but these are only occasionally prescribed along with or instead of topical steroids. Unfortunately, steroids appear to be less effective in older patients, and for this reason, some practitioners are investigating the injection of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) as a potential alternative. PRP has been used in wound healing, surgery, and aesthetic applications, and it is now showing significant promise as a treatment for LS.