Vulvar Lichen Sclerosus: Current Perspectives

Int J Womens Health. 2020 Jan 15;12:11-20. doi: 10.2147/IJWH.S191200. eCollection 2020.


Vulvar lichen sclerosus (LS) is a chronic, inflammatory dermatosis that may lead to scarring of the vulva and sexual dysfunction. LS affects women of all ages and often goes unrecognized and underreported. Uncertainty continues to exist around its pathogenesis, histologic diagnosis, and treatment. However, there have been great advances in our understanding of autoimmunogenic targets in disease formation and progression. In addition, there has been recent investigation of potential non-steroid-based treatments, including platelet-rich plasma therapy and energy-based modalities such as the fractional CO2 laser, photodynamic therapy, and high intensity focused ultrasound. Refinement of surgical techniques for restoring vulvar anatomy and treating clitoral phimosis, introital stenosis, and vulvar granuloma fissuratum is leading to improved patient outcomes. This review summarizes current perspectives on the pathogenesis, symptomatology, diagnosis, and treatment for vulvar lichen sclerosus.

Keywords: clitoral phimosis; corticosteroids; fractional CO2 laser; lichen sclerosus; lysis of vulvar adhesions; vulvar granuloma fissuratum.

Publication types

  • Review