Lichen Sclerosus Introduction
An uncommon chronic inflammatory disease of unknown etiology which affects both skin and mucosal surfaces. This disorder has predilection for the anogenital skin. The female to male ratio is 10 : 1. Lichen sclerosus is more common in women over 60 years of age, but can occur at any age.
Affected women complain of chronic vulvar pruritus, dysuria or dyspareunia that interferes with sexual activity. Men have persistent balanitis which, if untreated, tends to progress to phimosis. Squamous cell carcinoma develops in 3% of mucosal lesions. It is wise to consider lichen sclerosus to be a pre-cancerous condition requiring regular follow-up and biopsy of areas suspicious for malignant change. Skin lesions are often asymptomatic.