Lichen sclerosis vulvar dystrophy and menopause in women near Park City
Vulvar dystrophy is a condition with two variants: lichen sclerosis and squamous hyperplasia. The first causes skin in the vulvar area to become thin and delicate. You could describe skin affected by lichen sclerosis as “crepey.” Squamous hyperplasia, on the other hand, causes the development of thickened patches of skin in a woman’s genital area. Either variant of vulvar dystrophy can cause unpleasant symptoms that get in the way of a woman’s sexual enjoyment, or even comfort. In the Park City, Woodstock, and Lake Forest offices of Partners in Pelvic Health North Shore Urogynecology, women who experience the symptoms of either condition can find valuable solutions.
Lichen sclerosis, in particular, is a type of vulvar dystrophy that may develop in the post-menopausal woman. This condition is recognized for its parchment-like, shiny white patches of skin in the labia and other vulvar tissues. However, even before the recognition of the appearance of lichen sclerosis vulvar dystrophy, symptoms will alert a woman to a potential problem.
Symptoms of lichen sclerosis vulvar dystrophy
Every person is different. Not every woman who develops lichen sclerosis will experience the same symptoms. Where, in some, symptoms may seem non-existent, other women will notice anything from slight discomfort to intense itching. In some cases, sexual intercourse can become painful. Thinned skin of lichen sclerosis may become highly irritated or may bleed when rubbed. Cracks may also develop in the skin around the anus, leading to uncomfortable bowel movements. An important note about vulvar dystrophy is that this condition is not cancer, nor does it cause cancer. However, the risk of vulvar cancer does increase if vulvar dystrophy is not treated.
Diagnosis and treatment
Dr. Gandhi is an experienced urogynecologist who helps women from Gurnee, Waukegan, Northbrook, Glenview, and other Chicago suburbs address their unique health concerns. Vulvar dystrophy can be identified through an evaluation of symptoms and a physical examination. Confirmation of the condition may be obtained with a biopsy of vulvar tissue.
Most often, vulvar dystrophy will respond well to the topical use of prescription corticosteroid cream and / or testosterone ointment. Connective tissues may be further protected from degeneration with retinoid drugs. Surgery is typically only warranted if extensive damage (scarring) has occurred or if the labia has become fused. In addition to prescribing medication, your doctor may also recommend:
- Wearing loose clothing and 100% Cotton underwear
- Keeping the genital area dry
- Vaginal sprays, perfumed soaps and perfumed laundry detergents are avoided
- Panty liners, baby wipes and tampons are avoided.
- Avoiding baths, hot tubs and whirl pools.
To discover solutions for your health concerns, contact us in Park City, Lake Forest, or Woodstock.