Lichen sclerosus is a chronic inflammatory skin disorder that can affect men, women, or children, but is most common in women. It usually affects the vulva and the anal area. In women it falls under the general category of vulvodynia.
It is considered a rare disorder, affecting about 1 in 300 people. The disorder results in thin and crinkled skin which tears easily, causing bleeding and intense pain, making most genital focused kinds of sex difficult to impossible. Lichen sclerosus is not contagious, the cause of it is not known, but there are treatment options available that can allow for reduced pain and genital sexual play to resume.
Published March 26, 2006.