Are these conditions serious?
Not necessarily. Lichen sclerosus and lichen simplex chronicus can usually be managed with treatment. However, these conditions can have serious physical and emotional effects if left untreated.
Severe cases may make sex painful, which may make you not want to have sex. It can be troubling and embarrassing to have a long-term condition in the genital area.
Without treatment, the scratching associated with lichen simplex chronicus may lead to a bacterial skin infection. Persistent scratching can also cause permanent scars.
Lichen sclerosus can also be a risk factor for skin and vulvar cancer. See your doctor if you have signs or symptoms of lichen sclerosus.
Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff