Comparison of lichen sclerosus in boys and girls: A systematic literature review of epidemiology, symptoms, genetic background, risk factors, treatment, and prognosis

Pediatr Dermatol. 2022 May;39(3):400-408. doi: 10.1111/pde.14967. Epub 2022 Mar 1.


Background: Studies concerning pediatric lichen sclerosus are limited, and, to date, there have been no studies comparing the course of lichen sclerosus in boys and girls. We sought to examine all publications on boys and girls with lichen sclerosus and assess and compare epidemiology, symptoms and signs, genetic background, risk factors, treatment, and prognosis.

Methods: A systematic search was performed in the Embase, Medline, Cochrane, and Web of Science databases. Inclusion criteria were information on children ages 0-18 years and a clinical or histologic diagnosis of lichen sclerosus. Literature from 1985 to 2021 was reviewed.

Results: A total of 1780 articles were retrieved from the search, of which 90 articles were eligible for inclusion. Boys and girls present similarly on many aspects; nonetheless, treatment and follow-up are approached differently.

Conclusions: Though the clinical approach is often different, lichen sclerosus in boys and girls demonstrates many similarities. More research is needed, especially on follow-up, to gain a better understanding of the course of lichen sclerosus and establish an advanced management plan for children.

Keywords: balanitis xerotica obliterans; children; lichen sclerosus; pediatric lichen sclerosus; phimosis.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Genetic Background
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Lichen Sclerosus et Atrophicus* / diagnosis
  • Lichen Sclerosus et Atrophicus* / epidemiology
  • Lichen Sclerosus et Atrophicus* / genetics
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors