| Caroline Knight
Lichen sclerosus is an autoimmune condition that can cause problems all over the body, but often affects the vulva. It causes discoloration of the skin, turning it white in color and patchy. It can be very itchy and inflamed, and if left untreated can thin the skin, or lead to scarring, thickening and fusion of the skin over time. It may also lead to other infections, and although it’s possible for it to go away on its own, it often requires some treatment. If you are having trouble overcoming it, you may be wondering what is the best treatment for lichen sclerosus.
It is worth noting that lichen sclerosus (LS) is considered to be an autoimmune condition. This means that even though it can suddenly disappear, it can also come back at any point. It might come due to stress, low immune system function or fluctuation in hormones, and for some women it requires lifelong treatment or at the very least, vigilant precautionary measures.
The best treatments for lichen sclerosus
Medical treatment: steroid creams
Doctors believe that the best treatment for lichen sclerosus is topical corticosteroid ointments and creams. These contain cortisone, and are the most commonly prescribed lichen sclerosus treatments. In the case that these are not working, your Doctor might prescribe tacrolimus (Protopic) ointment or Dermovate, another strong steroid cream.
Some women have difficulties with medical lichen sclerosis treatments because unfortunately with prolonged use they can lead to thinning of the vulvar skin.
Some herbs are very good for treating lichen sclerosus, boosting healing or preventing scarring, itching and inflammation. If herbs are applied in a cream or oil they can bring great results - fast. Comfrey is great at repairing damaged cells by ‘knitting’ them back together, thus speeding up the healing process. Calendula is another herb that works well on skin conditions. It is antibacterial, antiseptic and antifungal, and antiseptic, making it a top choice for clearing up infections.
Then there is red clover, which is very anti-inflammatory. Since it also contains phytoestrogen, it has been helpful menopausal women with LS. Plantain is another herb that helps by stopping your skin from itching.
Oils are some of the best natural treatments for lichen sclerosus, as they can moisturize and treat inflammation at the same time. Coconut oil has a lot of benefits for the skin; not only is it moisturizing, but it has some antibacterial properties too. For lichen sclerosus sufferers it is very soothing and can bring relief from itching and burning.
Lots of women get plenty of relief from lichen sclerosus symptoms with olive oil. They report healing of ulcers, relief from burning and itching and a softening of rough or tight skin. Whichever oil you try, it’s a good idea to use it every time you’ve used the bathroom, making sure you clean the area properly before applying it. In just a few days you may start to see improvement in your LS.
Vaginal dilators can keep the vagina open. Since lichen sclerosus sufferers can develop thickened skin (or fusion of it), the vaginal opening may shrink and recede. If this is a problem and you wish to have regular sexual intercourse, you may find vaginal dilators useful.
It may be a good idea to try several lichen sclerosus treatments to find the ones that work best for you and keep the symptoms at bay over the long term. It is certainly possible to treat the condition naturally without having to worry about the negative side effects of prescribed ointments and creams. We wish you all the best in overcoming your condition!