Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Lichen Sclerosus

How many people know what this is? I didnt until about 6 years ago. A lot people suffer for years with this before they ever get a diagnosis. Women in menopause are most likely to get this disease, men are rare and children rarely.

Doctors dont really know what causes this disease. They do know it is NOT an STD and it is NOT contagious. People with an over active immune system tend to get this disease more than others.

Symptoms: Early in the disease, small white spots appear on the skin. The spots are usually shiny and smooth. Later, the spots grow into bigger patches. The skin on the patches becomes thin and crinkled. Then the skin tears easily, and bright red or purple bruises are common. Sometimes, the skin becomes scarred. If the disease is a mild case, there may be no symptoms.

Other symptoms are:
Itching (very common)
Discomfort or pain
Painful Sex

A biopsy of the area affected has to be done in order to diagnose and make sure this is not another disease. Treatments includes using very strong cortisone cream or ointment on the skin. You put these creams on the patches every day for several weeks. This stops the itching. Then you use the cream or ointment two times a week for a long time to keep the disease from coming back. Treatment does not fix the scarring that may have already occurred.

I was one of those people who suffered for years before I got a diagnosis. Yes-I got this stuff and it isnt fun. About every 3 months I have a problem with reoccurrance. For me the reoccurance is usually brought on when I am sick or stressed out. Which, between those two things is all the time.

I posted this because I wanted other people who may have the symptoms to know what they might have and could at least go and get checked out for it. Believe me, it will make your life better. Also, non treatment of this disease can result in skin cancer. So it is important to get a diagnosis and get the treatment.

1 comment:

The Coconut Diaries said...

Goodness! Thank you for the PSA!!