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. It can occur at any age but is uncommon in the very young or elderly. One UK study found it occurred chiefly in persons aged over 45 years, with an annual incidence (all ages) in 2003 of 27 per 100,000.