Lichen sclerosus can affect anyone at any age.
Lichen can appear as a girl goes into puberty. Research suggests that the hormones that peak could be responsible.
Women that are going through menopause or post menopausal years are more often diagnosed with Lichen Sclerosus (LS). It can, however, affect anyone, including men. It also can happen at any age. Hormone seem to play an active role in developing this skin condition. It can involve any area of skin, but is very often seen in the genitalia area.
In menopausal women, it usually affect the vaginal area. The skin in and around the area becomes itchy, and sore. Lichen presents itself with yeast infection like symptoms. The only difference is the vagina turns a whitish color. It is important to keep the area clean at all times. If lichen is left untreated, the white patches can turn to blisters, and become sore and possibly infected. Lichen Scelrosus is not contagious, and will not be passed during sex.
Men who get lichen are usually uncircumcised. It affects the area around the foreskin. In both men, and women, it can also affect the anus. Again, it is important to keep the area clean during treatment.
About 3% of lichen cases of the mucous areas, can become squamous cell carcinoma. It is very important to have your lichen checked regularly by your doctor to watch for changes in the cells.
Other Factors That May Contribute To Getting Lichen Sclerosus
Some research has suggested that Lichen Sclerosus can also be caused by certain types of infections. This is especially true when the lichen attacks skin other than the genital area.
Other studies suggest that there could be a genetic predisposition. Women who get it, could have been passed down the gene from their mother. This is especially true when an infant is diagnosed with Lichen Sclerosus.
There has been evidence that LS can be associated with thyroid disease. Those who acquire Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, another auto immune disease, can be susceptible to getting LS as well. When one auto immune disease invades the body, it makes the body an easy mark for others.