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What is LS?
Lichen sclerosus (LIKE-in skler-O-sus, also spelled sclerosis) is a skin disorder that can affect men, women, or children, but is most common in women. It usually occurs on the vulva (the outer genitalia or sex organ) in women,...
Lichen sclerosus of the penis occurs almost exclusively in uncircumcised men (those who have not had the foreskin removed). The foreskin can scar, tighten, and shrink over the head of the penis.
The cause is unknown, although an overactive immune system may play a role.
Some people may have a genetic tendency toward the disease, and many studies suggest that abnormal hormone levels may also play a role.
Some scientists believe that an infectious bacterium, called a spirochete, may cause the changes in the immune system that lead to Lichen Sclerosus.
But the fact that most women that get LS are of menopausal age, and also have other auto-immune issues, seems to indicate there is a hormonal and auto-immune connection.
The disease is incurable, and can only be sympomatically managed.