Lichen sclerosus is an uncommon condition that creates patchy, white skin that's thinner than normal. Lichen sclerosus can affect skin anywhere on your body. But it most often involves skin of the vulva, foreskin of the penis or skin around the anus. IInflammation and altered fibroblast function in the papillary dermis leads to fibrosis of the upper dermis. Genital skin and mucosa are affected most frequently, but extragenital lichen sclerosus does occur, and even rare oral presentations are reported.
The role that hypoxia and ischemia have in the initial cellular and vascular damage is supported by the finding of increased glut-1 and decreased vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression in affected skin. LS is a chronic, inflammatory skin disease with a distinct predilection for the anogenital region. Only 6 % of LS are isolated extragenital lesions. In 1971, Wallace calculated a prevalence of 0.1–0.3 % of all patients referred to a community-based dermatology department.
Both female and male patients are affected and it occurs in children, and in adults. Goldstein et al. found a prevalence of vulvar LS in a general gynecology practice of 1.7 %. Powell and Wojnarowska found a prevalence of LS in premenarchal girls of 0.1 %. Kizer et al. studied a population of 153,432 male patients and found that 0.07 % had a diagnosis of LS. Nelson and Peterson recently calculated in a population of 42,648,923 male patients a prevalence of only 0.0014 %.