I recently got diagnosed (not official since I haven't seen my gynecologist but I did see a doctor at a walk-in clinic who said it looks like it) with lichen sclerosis. I have my sister to thank, really, because she also recently got diagnosed with a similar vulvar disease, namely lichen simplex chronicus. Of course, I ran to the clinic thinking "holy crap I have that!" but deep down I knew whatever I had was much milder. I do have a history of immediately thinking the worst of the situation, namely on 9/11 when I thought I had cancer when what I had was merely an appendicitis. lol But, I digress.
So the story is that for the better part of, oh, maybe two, three years I've been itching like the devil around my vulva (but not touching it) exactly from the moment I hit the pillow to whenever I fall asleep from exhaustion. Throughout the months I've watched my skin discolour and raise in weird dry, itchy clump-like patches around my vulva in the seams of my thighs, the perineal skin and around my anus. I chalked it up to stress and maybe a heat rash because I do tend to sweat at night, and I was having stress issues with university. The crusty discoloured skin I chalked up to the scratching. Basically, I just let it go because I had seen my gynecologist last year and he hadn't commented on it so I thought it was nothing to worry about. And heh, I wasn't about to talk about this with my doctor because he's a young bastard who believes in not prescribing birth control because I haven't had sex, he didn't seem to care that my periods were the woe of my life since my appendectomy, and because he wants me on another pill to treat my acne problems (ironically enough, it's my gyneco who prescribed Alesse. My acne cleared up magnificently, and my painful, heavy periods were a breeze. He also had no problem with my being a virgin). My doc also gives me the look because I'm 150lbs, as though it should be obvious to me that I'm obese. Right. Not. So yes, I see my doc every year because there's a sad lack of other available doctors around, but other than yearly check-ups I'd rather not see him. As you might have deduced, no, I don't trust him.
Anyhow, I'm seeing my gynecologist this coming Thursday so I can be properly diagnosed (biopsy, I do dread you, despite everyone saying it's not painful). The doc at the walk-in clinic already prescribed Clobetasol and Canesten to take care of the itching and to hopefully heal the skin. It's working super well so far; the itching stopped within a day and this is actually my fourth day of treatment and I can see the skin pinken a bit and the edges heal. The left thigh seam is the worst off right now, but the right's crusty texture is smoothing out some. I'm being super careful with showering; I used to enjoy long warm showers but I'm trying to shorten them and to use cooler water. I don't soap the area either, and I pat it dry. I'm also taking Omega-3's, borage oil and Aloe Vera pills twice a day, as well as take a half-tablespoon of liquid chlorophyll once a day in a glass of water (I've read it's better to take a full tablespoon but I find the stuff vile enough that I think I'm brave to even drink it in the first place). I'm trying to cut back on my wheat intake, too, at least until the LS clears off. I've read baking soda baths can help, but haven't tried it yet. I used to use pads for the menses but I suppose I'll have to bear tampons from now on (I swear I tried tampons, many many times, but they always make me feel uncomfortable), and I'm switching pantiliners because the ones I used to use (better-absorbent, with chemicals) might not have been a good idea.
Basically, I'm just trying to put all chances on my side and curb the damn lichen. I've lived with it for so long that it seems I'd forgotten what it was like to not live with physical stress on a daily basis. The LS possibly did a number on me personally - I've always struggled with self-deprecation, and sexually I don't think I ever thought myself desirable enough to let a guy in emotionally and physically - so it's very freeing to know that part of the reason this all assailed me was the LS just making me dread physical and sexual contact. I still struggle with these issues, trust issues from way back in the past, but it's freeing to feel a weight lift off my shoulders.
I do have questions, though. I know the internet isn't always a reliable source when it comes to medical information but I've read that LS can be curbed for life. Or rather, there's always a chance it can reappear but that it can, in rare cases, curbed. From what I've seen from my research, I'd guess my case is fairly mild. My sister told me that she'll be on creams for life for her LSC, but... is there hope for me?
I had my first two HPV shots within the past year and my third is in a few months. I've read that LS targets me as more of a contender for skin cancer, so I guess the HPV shots give me a better chance to remain safe? Besides when it comes to skin cancer, that is :(
Since taking the Omega-3, etc pills I've noticed my bowel movements are a lot softer than they used to be, sometimes with diarrhea. Could it be the pills or the Canesten/Clobetasol creams? Maybe the chlorophyll?
Right, I think that's all for now :)