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Lichen Sclerosus

Lichen sclerosus is a chronic, inflammatory skin disease of unknown origin. It is progressive, destructive and incurable. The condition creates a thin, patchy white appearance on the skin. It can affect the skin of the genital and anal areas, upper body, upper arms and breasts. It is not contagious and cannot be spread through sexual intercourse.

While lichen sclerosus can affect men, women and children, postmenopausal women are at a higher risk of developing it.


Symptoms of lichen sclerosus may include:

  • Chronic itch that does not respond well to treatment
  • Soreness
  • Broken skin
  • White areas of skin
  • Skin thickening
  • Skin thinning
  • Narrowing of the vaginal opening in women with clitoral phimosis
  • Phimosis of the foreskin in men
  • Difficulty urinating

These symptoms may lead to painful intercourse or the inability to engage in intercourse for both men and women.

Care expertise

The University of Kansas Health System provides high-quality care for this condition. Our care team, which may include primary care, dermatology and women's health (OBGYN) physicians, is led by nationally recognized lichen sclerosus expert Danielle Staecker, MD.