Lichen sclerosis is a chronic skin disorder that affects many women. It can be located on any skin surface, but most commonly is located in the genital and anal region. The inflammation and changes that occur in the affected skin can cause itching and burning in the genital area, anal discomfort, burning with urination or difficulty urinating, and painful intercourse. Prescription steroid creams have been the main treatment for years to alleviate itching. Long term use of steroids can thin the skin and even impair immune response. Other treatment options include fractional laser resurfacing and PRP injections, and surgical correction.
The MonaLisa Touch laser is a non-pharmacologic, minimally invasive method used to treat changes that occur to the vagina and genitalia in menopause. Fractional laser resurfacing with the MonaLisa Touch stimulates the skin to promote production of new healthy tissue. Platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections are another non-pharmacologic means to treat lichen sclerosus. PRP promotes wound healing. These methods can be used alone or together to boost results. Patients are then able to decrease and sometimes discontinue steroid use. Severe lichen sclerosis can cause scarring in the genital area, leading to narrowing of the vaginal entrance, recurrent tearing, difficulty urinating, and fusing of the labia and clitoris. Surgical treatment may be necessary for these extreme cases.
Dr. Amy Klein provides all of these modalities and is eager to help patients with lichen sclerosis, as it is a frustrating and sometimes debilitating disease. Together, the patient and Dr. Klein develop the best treatment plan. The MonaLisa Touch and PRP injections for vaginal and genital conditions are the subject of many ongoing clinical trials with favorable results, however the use of these methods are still considered off-label. Multiple studies to date have been completed with positive patient results.