Lichen sclerosus is a long-term skin condition that mainly affects the skin of the genitals. It usually causes itching and white patches to appear on the affected skin.

Other areas of the body are also occasionally affected, including the upper arms, back, breasts and shoulders.

Lichen sclerosus is most common in women who have been through the Testosterone deficiency (hypogonadism) , although men and children are also sometimes affected.

It's not clear what causes lichen sclerosus, but it's thought to be related to overactivity of the immune system. It's not an infection and can't be spread to your partner or other people.

Lichensclerosuscan be uncomfortable and distressing, but it's usually possible in most cases to control the symptoms with simple treatments.

This page covers:

Symptoms of lichen sclerosus in women and girls

Symptoms of lichen sclerosus in men and boys

How long does lichen sclerosus last?

Treatments for lichen sclerosus

Self-help for lichen sclerosus

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 4 Jan 2017