Vulvar lichen sclerosus: Current perspectives

Jill M. Krapf, Leia Mitchell, Michelle A. Holton, Andrew T. Goldstein

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Vulvar lichen sclerosus (LS) is a chronic, inflammatory dermatosis that may lead to scarring of the vulva and sexual dysfunction. LS affects women of all ages and often goes unrecognized and underreported. Uncertainty continues to exist around its pathogenesis, histologic diagnosis, and treatment. However, there have been great advances in our understanding of autoimmunogenic targets in disease formation and progression. In addition, there has been recent investigation of potential non-steroid-based treatments, including platelet-rich plasma therapy and energy-based modalities such as the fractional CO2 laser, photodynamic therapy, and high intensity focused ultrasound. Refinement of surgical techniques for restoring vulvar anatomy and treating clitoral phimosis, introital stenosis, and vulvar granuloma fissuratum is leading to improved patient outcomes. This review summarizes current perspectives on the pathogenesis, symptomatology, diagnosis, and treatment for vulvar lichen sclerosus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-20
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Women's Health
StatePublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Clitoral phimosis
  • Corticosteroids
  • Fractional CO laser
  • Lichen sclerosus
  • Lysis of vulvar adhesions
  • Vulvar granuloma fissuratum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Maternity and Midwifery


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