Topical testosterone versus clobetasol for vulvar lichen sclerosus

Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2007 Feb;96(2):117-21. doi: 10.1016/j.ijgo.2006.09.018. Epub 2007 Jan 19.


Objective: To compare the effects of topical testosterone and clobetasol treatments on symptoms remission and recurrence rates in patients with vulvar lichen sclerosus (LS).

Methods: A retrospective review of the records showed that, of 140 patients with biopsy-proven vulvar LS, 80 were treated with applications of testosterone propionate 2% in petrolatum and 60 with clobetasol 17-propionate 0.05%.

Results: The response rates after 6 months were 77.5% for patients treated with testosterone and 91.7% for those treated with clobetasol (P=0.02). The recurrence rates were 20% and 6.7% in the 2 groups, respectively (P=0.02). Premenopausal patients had higher remission rates and lower recurrence rates than postmenopausal patients (P>0.05). Considering whole patients, low remission rates and high recurrence rates were observed in patients who had had a hysterectomy (P>0.05).

Conclusion: Treatment of LS with a corticosteroid provided excellent remission rates. In this study, clobetasol 17-propionate 0.05% was superior to testosterone for both remission induction and maintenance therapy.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Adult
  • Androgens / administration & dosage
  • Androgens / therapeutic use*
  • Clobetasol / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Glucocorticoids / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Recurrence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Testosterone Propionate / administration & dosage
  • Testosterone Propionate / therapeutic use*
  • Vulvar Lichen Sclerosus / drug therapy*


  • Androgens
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Clobetasol
  • Testosterone Propionate