Here at DiscovHER HEALTH, we care about treating women with VULVAR LICHEN PLANUS.

It is estimated that 1 in 4000 women will have vulvar or vaginal LP compared to 1 in 100 who may have oral LP. About 50% of women who have oral lichen planus may have vulvar or vaginal LP but the diagnosis may be missed as dentists do not generally enquire about genital symptoms and the mouth may not be routinely examined in those presenting with genital disease.

What is Vulvar Lichen Planus?

Lichen planus (LP) is a disease of the skin caused by inflammation. Vulvar lichen planus occurs most commonly in women 50-60 years old. It can affect the genital area including both the vulva and the vagina. The most common symptoms are burning and soreness.

Some women describe itching as well. Lichen planus causes a rash of small purplish bumps, often on the arms, legs, or back. It can affect the mouth (oral disease) with a whitish pattern or loss of the mouth surface. In some cases, the nails and the scalp are also involved.

It is possible to have the disease in one area without ever having a problem elsewhere. Many patients with vulvovaginal LP have LP in the mouth as well and sometimes on other areas of the skin.

Soreness, burning and rawness are very common symptoms. Less commonly, Itching is present. If the outer layers of the skin break down (erosions), these areas appear moist and red. There may be a white lacy pattern on the vulva. This pattern can also be seen around the edges of the erosions.

Causes of Vulvar Lichen Planus

The cause of LP is unknown. There may be a problem with the immune system, the system that protects a person from diseases. In LP, the system is overactive and can act against itself (this is called an auto-immune reaction).

In some cases, it is possible that an infection or medication can start this reaction. We do not know why the lesions develop in some parts of the body and not others.

LP may be associated with other auto-immune conditions such as thyroid disease, vitiligo (white patches on the skin), and alopecia areata (patches of hair loss) Lichen planus is NOT infectious or contagious and cannot be passed to a sexual partner or to another part of your body.

Providers familiar with the condition may diagnose it by looking at the skin and seeing the characteristic appearance. The diagnosis is usually confirmed by taking a small piece of skin to be sent to the laboratory and then looked at under a microscope.

See ONE OF OUR EXPERTS if you have any of the problems with this condition.
The recommended treatment will depend on the your symptoms and your overall health.
To make the best decision for you, discuss the risks and benefits with us.

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