If you have lichen sclerosus on or around your genitals or anus, or have a more advanced case on other parts of your body, your doctor will recommend treatment. Treatment helps reduce itching, improve your skin's appearance and decrease further scarring. Recurrence is common. Rarely, lichen sclerosus gets better on its own.
Corticosteroid ointments or creams are commonly prescribed for lichen sclerosus. Initially, you'll generally have to use cortisone creams or ointments on the affected skin twice a day. After several weeks, your doctor will likely recommend that you only use these medications twice a week to prevent a recurrence.
Your doctor will monitor you for side effects associated with prolonged use of topical corticosteroids, such as further thinning of the skin.
Other treatment options
If corticosteroid treatment doesn't work or if months of corticosteroid therapy are needed, your doctor may prescribe an ointment such as tacrolimus (Protopic).
Removal of the foreskin (circumcision) in men is a common treatment in cases resistant to other therapies or more-advanced cases. Surgery in the genital or anal area generally isn't recommended for women with lichen sclerosus because the condition may just come back after surgery.
Ask your doctor how often you should return for follow-up exams. They are generally recommended every six to 12 months.