I have had symptoms of LS for 2 years now and have finally found a way to keep it under control. The symptoms started after menopause with extreme vaginal dryness. Then the vulvar skin breaking, bruising and vaginal atrophy began. I work for a GYN doctor so I knew what was happening to me. I did try Perrins cream which helped a little in the beginning. I vas very reluctant to use any prescription medication, but after suffering for so long I finally tried a very small dose of Estrace cream vaginally once or twice a week which has helped alot. (I did not want to use Steroids). I also apply pure vitamin E oil (found at Target for $5.00) to the vaginal/rectal area everyday after bathing/soaking. I use only natural soap very gently in that area, no bleach on underwear, avoid any perfumes or strong dryer sheets that irritate, no underwear when at home and only lightly blot when using toilet paper. These things have helped me tremendously. Avoiding sugar and taking high potency probiotics do also help. I hope and pray that a natural cure can be found and that the cause of this awful condition will soon be discovered. I have been doing my own research and taking note of the similarities in women who have this condition. Hope this helps someone.
Toogoolawah, Queensland Australia
Ft. Lauderdale, Fl, Usa
Kansas City, Kansas
New York City
I am 28 years old female who was diagnosed with LS in Aug 2010. After 2.5 years of continuing Yeast infection and Strep B bacteria since my honeymoon in Caribbean.
I believe after taking many antibiotics and Diflucan, my body collapsed!
I had a blood test and my natural path informed me that I am Lactose intolerant and I have to avoid Dairy and Gluten. I am taking Probiotic and Fish oil (Omega 3) and L-Glutamine (I guess to clean my liver. ) I have not seen any major changes to LS in my vulvar area. Yet, I can feel less gas (stinky gas), diarrhea, bowel movement and no more Yeast and Strep B bacteria.
Yeast: after unsuccessful 2 years of using Antibiotic, I used Boric acid and soaked my body in Baking soda every day for a few weeks which have been very very helpful. Even my husband did it too. I am free of yeast or bacteria now.
LS: I have been using lower dose of Topical cream which was useful at the beginning but not after 3 months. After the flare up and no sexual intercourse for a while because of the pain and itchiness, doctor gave me another higher dosage of cream, I have been using this for 3 weeks now and it is helping a lot. But I don't want to be dependent on this at all. I am young, still have another 50 years to go, can't use the cream for the rest of my life. I don't have any kids yet either.
My research shows that Omega 3 (fish oil), and probiotic are great to use to balance your body and create healthy skin. Healthy diet is another one, have a test or look at your blood group type and see what is better to eat for your body type. I did a cleanse in summer which helped my body to normalize and of course got rid of the yeast.
Also, I have found that Neem oil, Calendula oil, Emu oil are helpful. I have heard from a few professionals about Neem oil and Calendula, but rarely about Emu oil. So I was reluctant to buy Emu oil for my LS. Apparently, some people used Emu oil and it worked but not many professionals know about it.
Yesterday was the first night I used Neem oil and hoping to be helpful.
If anyone has any other suggestions, Please let me know.
Lichen Sclerosus is a condition that I self-diagnosed myself with a few years ago, after much internet research and no help from my doctor. This is still such a mysterious condition, with little concrete medical data out there to refer to, but here are some of my observations and some things that have helped me quite a bit.
First, I believe that it is caused by hormone imbalance and/or auto-immune issues. Most people notice their symptoms begin with hormone shifts. For me, it was at the beginning of peri-menopause, and came along with other, more common symptoms of that. Along those same lines, the symptoms are always worse at the end of my cycle (pre-menstrually) and better towards the beginning of the cycle. Also, I notice my symptoms flare up (and have heard others report the same) when my immune system is run down or strained, especially if I'm fighting a virus (cold, etc... ). Interestingly, as several others here have mentioned, I also have a history of adrenal fatigue/chronic fatigue. So seeking natural hormone balance and a healthy, balanced immune system are, in my opinion, key to going into permanent remission.
Topically, I have found the most success with a cream called Perrin's Cream Complete, found on the Perrin's website (you'll find it if you google it). It immediately relieves discomfort and seems to help quite a bit overall with other symptoms. It is a soothing antioxidant cream that is very healing as well. It was originally developed to help prevent and reverse skin cancer, so for a condition with an increased cancer risk associated with it, this cream is a good one to have on hand. Also evening primrose oil has been helpful topically.
I have tried to adopt an anti-inflammatory diet to help with the auto-immune aspect: no sugar (very inflammatory and noticeably worsens LS), fried foods, junk foods, processed foods/fast foods, margarine or shortening. About a month ago I also eliminated gluten (mostly found in wheat) and either it's a coincidence, or that was truly helpful because it's better now than it's been in years. A whole foods diet that is loaded with vegetables and healthy fats and protein (which includes SATURATED fats: coconut oil, eggs, butter and meat from healthy, pastured cows, etc... ), fish, krill, or cod-liver oil, and low on grains (especially wheat). Try to eat more like your great-grandparents ate and you'll be doing much better than if you follow the USDA food pyramid! The Weston A. Price Foundation has great info on healthy traditional diets and how our modern, western diet and food preparation has damaged our health (westonaprice.org). Learning about food sensitivities/allergies would also be essential for reducing systematic inflammation. If you can't afford allergy testing, try checking your pulse before and after eating suspected foods. If you notice a marked rise in your pulse after eating a particular food, you are probably sensitive if not allergic to it.
Also avoiding chemicals as much as possible in your environment (cleaning products, unfiltered city water), and food (genetically modified and/or pesticide laden foods) is also important. I know there are lots of supplements that help with inflammation: turmeric, fish oil (or krill or cod liver), vitamin D3 (current recommendations are extremely low, so probably around 5, 000 mg. daily, or better yet, get your levels tested and aim for therapeutic levels--check out http://mercola.com for more info on vit. D), and many more.
There are also supplements designed specifically for reducing inflammation. Chinese mushrooms and herbs have been used with incredible success for a variety of inflammatory conditions, so that would sure be worth checking out. Fungi Perfecti has a product line called Host Defense and a product in that line called My Community that looks very intriguing. It's a very reputable company and scores of people with serious immune and/or cancer issues swear by their products. http://iherb.com seems to have the best prices. Searching out anti-inflammatory diet and supplements should provide lots of good ideas. Hopefully there's something of use in all that!
If I discover a magic pill, I will certainly share my discovery, but my guess is that it's really about getting your hormonal and immune systems balanced out, which involves a more holistic approach to diet and lifestyle than what one pill can provide.
Effingham, Il Usa
Newcastle Upon Tyne, U.k.
I have had LS for a few years to the puzzlement of my gyn until September when the white spotting finally appeared. I tried calendula oil then castor oil and now I am in my 2nd week of Neem oil with a green tree extract added 2 or 3X a day. It is messy but it brought me healing relief.
The others brought relief from the itching and bleeding which is a blessing but I want it to heal and not continue to split.
Ozonated olive oil has reversed my LS symptoms. I applied it to the labia area and it unfused the labia. I have applied a small amount 3 times daily for three weeks now.
I bought a small jar from a British Columbia company and when you receive it, keep it stored in the fridge. It's okay to ship via unrefrigerated mail though. It looks like solid vaseline. Reasonably priced.
There are many topical uses for this product, from acne to cuts and bruises.
After 5 years of suffering with Lichens Sclerosis, I must share what has given me relief and remission. My husband researched treatments and found an OB/ GYN in a neighboring county, who provides Platelet Rich Plasma Injection Therapy. This is an experimental treatment, and I am the 3rd patient she has treated with "PRP" for Lichens.
The 3 treatments with an out of pocket expense of $800 each have completely cleared all of my itching, Burning and white patches. Upon my follow up exam, my doctor stated she could not tell I had lichens! I do not have a reversal in vaginal tissue elasticity, but I believe my peri menopause contributes to that condition. My 3 outpatient treatments were completed in less than 2 hours each, and were non invasive. The process begins with your own blood draw that is put in a centrifuge for about 15 minutes. The platelet the rich plasma is drawn into a syringe and injected in the affected areas (with a large needle to protect the platelets) OUCH!, but the local helps a lot.
This 3 round treatment over 6 months completely cleared my lichens. No creams, steroids or prayers could do that. I was told to come back every 6 months, and that I may require more treatments. After a year I am still clear. This doctor was the first of 3 gynecologists to actually do a biopsy to confirm lichens sclerosis, I am forever grateful to her for taking the bold steps to help me.
FYI PRP is also known as the O shot and the Vampire Facelift, and is thought to restore healthy tissue and blood flow. Read up on it to see if this is an option for you. I know I would pay almost anything to rid myself of the agony of Lichens Sclerosis.
San Francisco, Ca
I have has LS for 5 years now and I'm only 16 years old. So far no doctor has been able to figure out a cure to LS. I've done my own experiments and I've been using Shea Butter for 3 years and I rarely have flare ups or any itching. Though I notice I have more discharge but it's worth not having unbearable itching.
I have recently been diagnosed with lichen sclerosis. I have had severe itching and after trying many things which seem to relieve it for about a week and then it is like it develops some immunity to it, I tried vagisil. This has given me the most relief as a cream. But what has actually been helping to heal it and give much longer relief is sitz baths. I use some epsom salt, lavender, chamomile, comfrey, yarrow, and marigold, steep this in a sitz bag for a bit and add it to a very shallow warm bath. Then I add baking soda to the water and soak for 20-30 minutes. Doing this twice a day is best. This is still very new to me and I'm horrified to find out it is chronic and the damage it causes. I haven't tried the steroid cream yet but after reading the many replies, I'm very concerned about using it at all.
Egyptian Magic All Purpose Skin Cream works as well (if not better) then the prescription Clobetasol. It has all natural ingredients so can be used long term with no bad side effects. My OBGYN said that it was ok to use. The thought of using a steroid cream for the rest of my life bothered me. Glad to have found something safe. Buy it at Costco (best price), Whole Foods or online. Just use as often needed.
Lichen Scelrosis - theory yet to be proved:
I have a theory that moderate to high use of Vaginal creams for Thrush etc aggravate or possibly even CAUSE LS. The only way to find this out is to get as many women as possible with LS to say whether they have used these creams a lot in the past. I had a history of repeated Thrush and used the creams many times - I notice now that use of these creams aggravate the itchiness and thinness of the area for up to 2 weeks after use. Please post a answer and see if we can 'find' the cause - the Drs have no idea, so....
Los Angeles, California
Chicago, Il, Usa
Grantham, United Kingdom
Fraser, Michigan, Us
Bristol, Avon, Uk
Pasadena, Ca, Usa
For Lichen Sclerosus, I have found that using a vitamin E capsule like a suppository overnight usually takes care of symptoms overnight. My MD prescribed steriod creams, which also work, but not as well. However, they are more convenient to use during the day. Although steriod creams are not natural, I believe a natural estrogen cream may work the same way. I have read lately that lichen schlerosis is often triggered by a decrease in estrogen in the body, so I'm experimenting with increasing intake of soy products, which contain natural estrogens. My MD also recommended probiotics and turmeric to control symptoms. Apparently, there is no cure available, just good symptom management.
Lichen Sclerosus: Based on some of the suggestions on this site, I began using vitamin E oil and certified pure therapeutic grade Lavender oil on the affected area and all symptoms have stopped. Lavender oil has analgesic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antiseptic properties, to name a few. I have had LS since puberty but was misdiagnosed until 3 years ago. No cure and steroids are a no-go for me so management is my focus. Symptoms vary based on diet, exercise, and hormones, though this combo seems to be working well so far. I may try the purple emu oil in the future or possibly make an essential oil combination using lavender, melaleuca (tea tree), and oregano. Thanks to the makers of this site! It helps a lot!
Wheatgrass Cure for Lichen Scelrosis.
I have had this for 2 years. and found Wheatgrass works wonders after using the topical steroids and it getting worse. I stopped using what the doctor prescribed and used WG and she was amazed and wanted to take pictures and everything. I tried many natural remedies and this is what I have found to work. I had about 6 months that was excruciating and painful sex but now and basically symptom free besides having a small patch of white spots that never real go all the way for good.
Wheatgrass pulp as a compress for 15-45 mins. Make sure it is juicy this is a little messy but very clean and has been proven as a remedy for many problems including yeast infections. Just holding the compress on for 30 mins made my white spots disappear and the skin that appeared was pink and healthy. Juice it and grow it yourself and use 1-2 times a week or get a wheatgrass shot at a heathfood store and ask for some of the pulp. I do this -you can tell them it is to treat a burn or infected cut b/c it is used for that too. You just bundle up the pulp and hold it on press it to your skin firmly. I sit and watch TV on the couch or in bed on top of a towel with paper towels on top. The chlorophyl is very rich and can stain clothing/sheets. Wheat Grass contains many minerals and chlorophyl so maybe this is why it works so well.
But, I recently got wheatgrass cream form an Australian doctor who makes it. it is sold on his website Dr. Wheatgrass. I find if I put this on a few nights a week the white spots disappear too and the skin heals. This stuff is amazing you can heal cuts and burns very quickly with it with generally no scarring. I also found that salt water baths help and Aloe Vera gel helps soothe, and tea tree oil ointment takes away itchiness.
I used the Nuva Ring birth control vaginal ring for 2 years and that is when my problems with LS started. Now I use a pill and generally have a little bit of white spots but no irritation at all anymore and the white spots always go away every month when I get my period. I feel maybe if I did not use hormonal birth control at all this would go away completely but am not at a point in my life where I can justify it as there is not as reliable of a natural method Hope this helps some people with LS b/c it is really awful to have this condition.
I don't know about the Essiac Tea but I recently read on a Lichen Sclerosa Forum about Witch Hazel. The writer had felt that in someway her urine was to blame for her symptoms. I had had some similar thoughts so decided to follow her advice.
For the past week I have been drying myself, after having a pee, with a tissue, and then wiping myself with a tissue with some Witch Hazel on it. The effect has been quite dramatic. No more itching or soreness at all.
Is it possible, I wonder, that there is some toxic reason for the urine to affect the vulva so badly. All one gets from the medical profession is that Lichen Sclerosa is believed to be an auto-immune system breakdown. That seems to be their answer for anything they don't have an answer for.
In closing I should say that I don't believe my Lichen Sclerosa to be a really bad version of the complaint although I have had it for the past ten years. If I can stop using the Diprosone Ointment by using Witch Hazel I shall be well pleased.
Las Vegas, Nv
After months of suffering and using steroid creams to no effect I used zinc oxide and within 24 hrs the soreness, redness and discomfort had gone. I have only applied the cream 4 times but the affected area seems to be almost back to normal. Miraculous result