Espère's 'brief' guide to Lichen Sclerosus

 


What is Lichen Sclerosus?

Lichen Sclerosus is a chronic, recurrent condition of the skin and mucous membranes which generally affects the ano-genital region. It is most common in older women and can lead to scarring and degeneration of the skin and mucosa around the genitalia. There is no cure, though treatment with strong topical corticosteroid creams and ointments helps to control the condition. The knitted, sericin-free silk that DermaSilk is composed of is naturally soft and comfortable, ideal for calming irritation in sensitive areas. The range is proven in clinical trials to significantly reduce the symptoms of Lichen Sclerosus when compared with cotton underwear.

Lichen Sclerosus is not thought to be common although figures vary according to different authorities. Some suggest that as many as 1 in 300 women have this condition but it is often undiagnosed or confused with Candida (Thrush) by clinicians. Whilst it is most common in adult women it can also affect pre-pubertal children and adult males too.

Symptoms

Lichen Sclerosus is characterised by:

  • Changes in the skin of the genital area that becomes thin and faded
  • Small white patches which can join up over time
  • Itch that is often more intense during the night and with the progression of the disease
  • Localised burning, pain and dryness
  • Skin that is more fragile than normal which may split
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Difficulty urinating

 Causes

The cause of lichen sclerosus is not fully understood. It can be associated with other diseases in which the body’s immune system attacks normal tissues, but it has not been proven that it is an auto-immune condition in itself.

Can you pass Lichen Sclerosus on?

The disease is not contagious and cannot be spread through contact, including sexual intercourse, and is not caused by poor personal hygiene.

What can cause flare-ups?

  • Friction or damage to the skin. This reaction is called a ‘Koebner response’
  • Irritation from urine leakage or wearing incontinence pads or panty liners
  • Irritants such as soap, detergents, shower gels and bubble baths

Treatment

The main treatment for Lichen Sclerosus is steroid ointment or cream that is applied to the affected area as advised by your doctor. It can also help to wash with emollients.

How DermaSilk Intimo can help?

The effect of DermaSilk underwear was investigated in 42 women suffering from chronic, long standing vulvar Lichen Sclerosus. All patients were prescribed a strong topical steroid cream to be used once daily on the affected area. Half of the patients were randomly chosen to use DermaSilk briefs. The other half were used as a control group and instructed to use only cotton briefs. Neither the patients nor the clinicians knew who was in which group. The briefs were used exclusively throughout the 6 month study period.

Results

Symptoms such as itching, pain, burning, dryness and dyspareunia (painful intercourse) were markedly reduced within the first month in the DermaSilk group in comparison with the control group. At the end of the study the improvement obtained in the DermaSilk® group was significantly greater than in the Cotton group, leading in many cases to the complete disappearance of the symptoms.

The investigators concluded that DermaSilk was significantly more effective than cotton in relieving the symptoms of Lichen Sclerosus.

“Perhaps, most importantly, all patients decided that they wanted to continue using DermaSilk, even after the observation period was complete.”

These results have allowed DermaSilk briefs to be listed BY BRAND in the European Guidelines for the Management of Lichen Sclerosus. No other silk briefs can do what DermaSilk Briefs can.

For further support, visit:

The UK Support Group for Women

The Association for Lichen Sclerosus and Vulval Health

Patient Forum

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