Topical testosterone in the treatment of vulvar lichen sclerosus

Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 1994 Jul;46(1):53-6. doi: 10.1016/0020-7292(94)90309-3.


Objectives: Comparison between 2% testosterone propionate and petrolatum ointment in the treatment of vulvar lichen sclerosus in a randomized, double-blind, controlled clinical study.

Methods: Fifty-eight consecutive patients with histologically confirmed vulvar lichen sclerosus were enrolled. They underwent a 1-year period of topical treatment with either medication, with clinical evaluations of symptoms and gross appearance at 2-month intervals, followed by histological evaluation at the end of the treatment period. Statistical analysis was performed according to the chi-squared test and the Student-Newman-Keuls test.

Results: A substantial improvement in symptoms was achieved in 20 (66.6%) patients in the testosterone group and in 21 (75%) patients in the placebo group. No statistical differences were observed between the two groups. Gross changes were observed in a few cases and no case demonstrated histologic modifications.

Conclusions: Petrolatum ointment is as effective as 2% testosterone in the treatment of vulvar lichen sclerosus.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biopsy
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lichen Sclerosus et Atrophicus / drug therapy*
  • Lichen Sclerosus et Atrophicus / pathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Ointments
  • Petrolatum / therapeutic use
  • Prospective Studies
  • Testosterone / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vulvar Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Vulvar Diseases / pathology


  • Ointments
  • Testosterone
  • Petrolatum