Lichen sclerosus is a chronic inflammatory condition that typically affects the skin of the vulva, skin around the anus, and foreskin of the penis. Also, the disease can appear on the upper body, upper arms, and breasts.
It is uncommon in men and children, and it is most commonly seen in post-menopausal women. The female to male ratio is approximately 6 to 1.
It is not known exactly how many women develop the condition. But, scientists believe that the number could be anywhere between 1 in 300 to 1 in 1,000 women.
For most affected individuals, this condition is a long-term condition that lasts many years and may flare up and down over time.
The most common symptoms include:
- painful intercourse;
- itching, that can be severe;
- in severe cases, blistering, bleeding, or ulcerated lesions;
- easy tearing or bruising;
- blotchy, wrinkled patches;
- smooth white spots on the skin;
- discomfort or pain.
Note – mild cases occasionally go unnoticed since they don’t cause any symptoms aside from the white, shiny skin.
It is not exactly known what causes this condition, however, it is thought to relate to an autoimmune process, in which antibodies attack a component of the skin by mistake.
The condition appears to be more frequent in women with other auto-immune diseases, like – ulcerative colitis or thyroid problems. More importantly, people with lichen sclerosus have an increased risk of developing other autoimmune disorders, like – type 1 diabetes, some types of thyroid disease, vitiligo, and alopecia areata.
Note – this disease is not due to an infection, meaning that it is not contagious and cannot be spread through skin-to-skin contact, including sexual intercourse.
LS does not cause skin cancer but women who have it are also at slightly higher risk for vulvar cancer, a malignant, invasive growth in the outer portion of the female genitals.
If your LS turns into squamous cell carcinomas, they may resemble red ulcers, lumps, or crusted areas.
This disease can be diagnosed clinically based on characteristic skin changes, however, in some case, it may require a skin biopsy.
No treatment is sure to reverse the changes of LS completely, however, the symptoms can typically be well controlled with a steroid application. The use of moisturizers can also be helpful in controlling symptoms.
In addition, surgery can remove scarring which covers the entrance to the vagina, if these affect your ability to enjoy penetrative sex.
Here are 10 Essential Oils For Lichen Sclerosus:
#1 Red Clover
Red Clover (scientifical name – Trifolium pratense) is a wild, leguminous, perennial herb which is native to the meadows of Western Asia, Europe, and Africa.
This essential oil contains important vitamins for the skin, like – vitamin B-complex and vitamin A. It may be combined with other purifying herbs, like – burdock.
Castor essential oil is produced from the seeds of the Ricinus communis plants which grow wild in wastelands across tropical regions. It has vitamin E and omega-6 fatty acids which fight free radicals and moisturize your skin.
Also, it can help improve autoimmune skin conditions. It typically cleanses the skin from pathogenic bacteria and stops the dryness and inflammation of the skin.
Calendula essential oil is made from the petals of the pot marigold (botanical name – Calendula Officinalis), a species of flower that is native to southern Europe.
This oil has sudorific, tonic, antispasmodic, and emmenagogic properties, however, it is typically used for skin treatment and care. Also, it has been traditionally used to help speed wound healing and scar reduction as well it can be used in salves for bruises and burns.
Furthermore, calendula essential oil is an excellent addition to anti-aging formulas, because it helps to keep the skin youthful looking and healthy.
It has so many great benefits for helping heal and moisturize the skin. It contains three fatty acids, including caprylic, capric, and lauric acid, which possess both antimicrobial and disinfectant properties.
Note – it melts on the skin as soon as you apply it, without leaving any type of residue.
Lemongrass is an herb which belongs to the grass family of Poaceae. This oil is produced through the process of steam distillation of partially dried lemongrass leaves. It has a light and fresh lemony smell.
The main constituents of this oil are citronellal, myrcene, nerol, geranyl acetate, nerol, geraniol, citral, and limonene.
It is made from comfrey (botanical name – Symphytum officinale), a perennial herb of the Boraginaceae family with bell-shaped flowers. It is a popular source of allantoin, a natural compound renowned for its softening and moisturizing capacities.
Moreover, this essential oil aids in easing pain from muscle aches, arthritis, and soreness as well as in assisting the treatment of psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, and other skin conditions.
It is steam distilled from the purple flowers of the lavender plant. It’s been used for centuries for its healing and cleansing attributes. Romans used it for its scent and for purifying their baths and ancient Egyptians used it as a perfume for the mummification process.
Due to its healing and soothing characteristics, lavender oil may provide benefits to skin afflicted by autoimmune diseases. It can help to relieve the itch and irritation, particularly when combined with chamomile.
It is produced from the gum or resin of olibanum or frankincense trees (botanical name – Boswellia carteri).
Frankincense essential oil is revered for its capacity to produce a healthy inflammatory response when taken internally and to rejuvenate skin when applied topically.
#9 Witch Hazel
Witch hazel (scientifical name – Hamamelis virginiana) is a member of the Hamamelidaceae plant family. Native Americans have long recognized its therapeutic properties and used it to treat skin irritations.
#10 Aloe Vera
It is a perennial plant which thrives in hot, arid environments. It is typically found in the Canary Islands, North Africa, Australia, the Mediterranean region, and some areas in the US.
Aloe is used as a topical treatment for burns, cuts, and other wounds. Also, it improves skin elasticity as well as it lowers the formation of scars.
References https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4904529/ http://sti.bmj.com/content/76/6/495.1 https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022202X15356372