Lichen sclerosus is a benign inflammatory condition of the skin of the vulva. It can occur in women of any age, but is most common in postmenopausal women. Symptoms include itching and burning with associated pain during intercourse. The surface of the vulvar skin is often extremely thin and may have a paper-like appearance. Because of this, the skin may tear during intercourse and cause pain or bleeding.

Standard initial treatment of lichen sclerosus is application of creams containing high-potency steroids to the affected area. The most common steroid cream is known as clobetasol or Temovate. This cream should be applied to the area twice a day for approximately 2 to 3 weeks, then tapered to once a day, and finally down to occasional use. Most women notice an improvement in symptoms within 1 month of use of the steroid cream. This treatment may be continued on a long-term basis.

Other possible treatments of lichen sclerosus include topical testosterone or progesterone. These treatments, however, are not as effective as steroids. Additionally, your physician may recommend surgically excising the scar tissue often associated with lichen sclerosus. Again, this treatment is not as effective as topical steroids.

Home remedies for lichen sclerosus include keeping the skin over the affected area clean and dry, lubricating the skin with K-Y jelly or vegetable oil, or using sitz baths or warm water soaks.