Lichen sclerosus is a painful skin condition that typically affects the vulva (or penis) and anus. It sometimes occurs in overlap with scleroderma. It is an autoimmune disorder. It is not contagious, and it is not sexually transmitted.
I am sixty-two years old. I have had eleven breakouts throughout the vaginal and anal areas of my body, as well as my arms and on my back.
I am hypothryoid, and so are several members of my immediate family. I have many allergies to foods such as soy products and other items such as feathers, metals, etc. Fortunately, other than my arms, which were treated by X-ray at age sixteen, my lichen sclerosus breakouts elsewhere were never that severe (mostly just itching), until about five years after I had my only child at age thirty-five. After that, the eruptions became very severe, swollen and skin-darkening.
After consulting many gynecologists and dermatologists, I was finally diagnosed with lichen sclerosus at age fifty-eight. The latest dermatologist suggested that I take one or two 800 mg folic acid tablets per day, besides the usual steroid cream prescription. Since I had not heard this before, I tried the folic acid tablet without using the steroid cream. Surprisingly, the eruptions and itching have subsided—not totally, but to the point of a welcome relief.
Since this is an autoimmune disorder, I have no idea how long this relief will last or if it will completely go away. Most new things just turn into a new allergy. But I just thought I would share. Best wishes to all of you who are suffering so much more than I have. I know how much more severe this could be and I actually consider myself fortunate.
New email address needed 08-01-06 SLE
Old Email Prefix: hehurst
Story edited 10-21-05 JTD
Story posted 10-21-05 SLE
ISN Senior Artist: Sherrill Knaggs
Story Editor: Judith Devlin
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