Management of sexual dysfunction due to vulvar lichen sclerosus in postmenopausal women


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Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Angelo Massimiliano D'Erme, MD, Division of Dermatology, Department of Critical Care Medicine and Surgery, University of Firenze, Piazza di Indipendenza 11, 50100 Firenze Italy, Italy, or email:


Lichen sclerosus is a chronic skin disease, probably immune-mediated, with a strong genetic component. It shows a predilection for external genitalia. It is most common in postmenopausal women, although it has been documented at all ages and in both sexes. The exact prevalence of lichen sclerosus is unknown. However, in recent years much progress has been made in defining its etiology and epidemiology, and we now know that it is far more frequent than previously thought. The purpose of this review is to focus more attention on the relationship between LS and sexual dysfunction, and on a few important aspects of managing perimenopausal patients diagnosed with LS. Lichen sclerosus is a chronic, debilitating condition that may progress to cause significant physical and psychological complications. The disease calls for lifetime follow-up.