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Lichen sclerosus - Anogenital in
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Lichen sclerosus - Anogenital in

See also in: Overview,External and Internal Eye
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Contributors: Kudakwashe K. Maloney MD, MPhil, Belinda Tan MD, PhD, Mary Spencer MD, Ann Lenane MD, Sireesha Reddy MD, Amy Swerdlin MD, Manasi Kadam Ladrigan MD, Carol Berkowitz MD
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Synopsis

Lichen sclerosus (LS) is a chronic inflammatory and fibrosing dermatosis. Lesions occur mostly on the genitalia, perineum, or perianal skin but can appear anywhere. It is more common in females, with two peaks in age distribution: prepubertal children and postmenopausal women.

In children, it is the most common skin condition mistaken for sexual abuse. Although onset is typically around 35-45 years of age, about 15% of cases begin in childhood with onset between the ages of 3 and 7. It may be asymptomatic, although it often results in pruritus and burning, which at times can be incapacitating, leading to interference with daily activity and sleep. Pruritus, pain on defecation, dyspareunia, dysuria, vaginal discharge, anal or genital bleeding, or constipation are common. There may be late progression to destructive scarring. Atrophic LS lesions of the vulva are often referred to as kraurosis vulvae.

LS commonly affects the vulvar and perianal skin producing a "keyhole" area of hypopigmentation, often with scarring and loss of normal architecture. Lesions typically begin as white or yellow papules and can progress to white plaques with areas of atrophy, friability, and submucosal hemorrhage incited by only minimal trauma or irritation.

Misdiagnosis for sexual abuse most often occurs when the presentation is bullous, hemorrhagic, or erosive. The presence of hypopigmentation, atrophic skin, and telangiectasias should help differentiate this condition from sexual maltreatment. Findings of confirmed sexual abuse are primarily associated with acute injuries to the genitalia, anus or oral cavity, genital scarring, sexually transmitted diseases, and hymenal transection or evidence of a deep notch. However, case reports of LS coexisting with child abuse or resulting from trauma associated with repeated sexual maltreatment have been documented.

Childhood sexual abuse is a problem of epidemic proportions affecting children of all ages and economic and cultural backgrounds. Although awareness is increasing, it is often challenging to differentiate findings attributable to child abuse from those of LS and other benign anogenital skin conditions.

Codes

ICD10CM:
L90.0 – Lichen sclerosus et atrophicus

SNOMEDCT:
25674000 – Lichen Sclerosus et Atrophicus

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Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

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Therapy

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Drug Reaction Data

Below is a list of drugs with literature evidence indicating an adverse association with this diagnosis. The list is continually updated through ongoing research and new medication approvals. Click on Citations to sort by number of citations or click on Medication to sort the medications alphabetically.

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References

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Last Updated: 06/08/2016
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Lichen sclerosus - Anogenital in
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Lichen sclerosus : Eyelids, Glans of penis, Labia majora, Smooth plaque, White color, Inguinal region, Skin atrophy, Hardened skin
Clinical image of Lichen sclerosus
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