Lichen Sclerosus (Vulval) – What Is It & Can It Be Treated?
Skin conditions such as Lichen Sclerosus (vulval) can be incredibly frustrating and painful. It’s difficult to get the correct diagnosis and even harder to find treatments that work for you.
As an award-winning clinic based in Greenhithe, Kent, we’re passionate about raising awareness for Lichen Sclerosus and helping women to understand their condition and find appropriate treatment.
Skin irritations around the genitals are not uncommon and are often nothing to worry about. But some conditions, like Lichen Sclerosus (vulval), become so unbearable that they can greatly impact your life.
Most treatments are usually dependent on advice from a doctor or skincare specialist. However, when skin problems occur around the genitals, embarrassment often stops people from asking for help.
What Is Lichen Sclerosus (Vulval)?
Lichen Sclerosus (vulval) is an incredibly frustrating and life-impacting skin condition that affects the skin of the genitals. It appears as white spots and results in itching, burning pain, and scarring.
Your skin has several layers and if you suffer from Lichen Sclerosus (vulval), the outer layer (the epidermis) becomes very thin, resulting in inflammatory cells invading the next layer of skin (the dermis.)
The dermis contains blood vessels, nerve endings and hair roots, and when it becomes inflamed it causes painful swelling and broken blood vessels.
Stretchy fibres in your skin, containing essential elastic and collagen, can break which is incredibly painful and can lead to symptoms such as itching, pain and blisters.
It affects both men and women, but is more common in women and this blog will focus on Lichen Sclerosus (vulval).
It is very distressing for those suffering from it, and the symptoms can damage your self-confidence and affect your mental health, putting strain on your relationship with yourself and others.
What Are The Symptoms?
Symptoms usually present themselves when your body experiences hormonal changes, often during puberty or as you approach menopause.
The most common symptoms might include:
- Vulvar itching
- Anal itching, bleeding, or pain
- Pain during sex
- Skin bruising and tearing
- Easy bleeding from minor rubbing of the skin
- Trouble urinating or pain with urination
What Causes It?
There is no known cause for Lichen Sclerosus (vulval), but an overactive immune system usually plays a role. Hormone imbalances such as increased or decreased oestrogen levels can contribute to it, as does past skin damage. It’s not contagious, but some experts believe that certain gene types might play a role.
What Treatments Are Available?
Lichen Sclerosus (vulval) can be misdiagnosed as thrush, but over-the-counter vaginal creams that are used to treat thrush don’t help resolve the issue.
Stronger ointments and treatments are often needed such as:
- Steroid Creams – They reduce pain, itching and inflammation. However, when used regularly, your body can build up an immunity to the creams and they become less effective.
- Steroid Injections – Lichen Sclerosus (vulval) can also be treated with steroid injections
- Ultraviolet Light – UV-A1 phototherapy is an effective treatment as it softens former sclerotic skin lesions.
- Surgery – In some extreme cases, surgery can be used to remove excess skin from your genitals. The aim is to encourage your skin to heal back stronger.
- O Shot – This is a revolutionary, non-invasive treatment that helps women break free from this debilitating condition. Many LS sufferers have benefited the most from this treatment.
What Is The O Shot?
The O Shot is a non-surgical treatment designed to rejuvenate your vagina and is proven to improve Lichen Sclerosus (vulval). It’s a PRP (platelet-rich plasma) treatment that uses the incredible healing ability of your immune system to heal another area.
At Elite Aesthetics, we use a specific FDA Approved centrifuge to give the best possible results – and we’re the only clinic in the UK to use this centrifuge for the O Shot.
PRP contains essential cell-regenerating growth factors that are needed for effective treatment.
How Does It Work?
A small amount of blood is spun at a high frequency within an FDA approved centrifuge to separate the platelet-rich plasma.
This PRP is then injected inside and outside of your vagina. This might sound uncomfortable, but the whole procedure is done under local anaesthetic so any discomfort is minimised.
The way it works is by stimulating your body’s stem cells to produce new tissue including collagen and adipose (fatty) tissue, nerve endings and blood vessels. Treatment areas such as the vaginal tissue become rejuvenated and thicker, and the sensitivity is heightened to increase blood flow to the erogenous zones.
How Does The O Shot Benefit Lichen Sclerosus
The benefits that you can expect post-treatment are:
- Alleviation from the symptoms of Lichen Sclerosus (vulval)
- Decrease of pain during and after sex due to dryness or scarring
- Increased natural lubrication
- Improved appearance of the labia
- Alleviation from stress incontinence
- Enhanced arousal
- Stronger and more frequent orgasms
There are only a few qualified practitioners in the UK able to carry out this treatment and Dr Shirin at Elite Aesthetics is one of them. You can read an exclusive case study about how Dr Shirin has helped to improve the symptoms of LS here.
If you’re struggling with Lichen Sclerosus (vulval) and would like to find out if this treatment would be suitable for you, then the first thing you need to do is book a telephone consultation.
All consultations at Elite Aesthetics are held in our award-winning clinic based in Greenhithe, Kent which is just 20 minutes away by train from St. Pancras, London. During your consultation, you will speak to our doctor, an accredited non-surgical cosmetic practitioner with over 20 years of experience, including several years as a practising NHS doctor.
Here you’ll be able to ask any questions you might have and discuss in greater detail what you want to achieve with your O Shot treatment.
Click here to book your discreet consultation today…