There's no simple or really non-awkward way to explain what Lichen Sclerosus is.
Basically it's a skin condition that affect the skin, generally around the genital area, Vulva in the females and penis in men. However the condition can affect other parts of the body, so its important if you have this condition look for the signs!
Although this condition can affect men, it is more commonly found to occur in women.
There's no real explanation as to what causes Lichen Sclerosus. The most common theory is that it is an auto-immune disease, so basically your own body attacks your skin. And as of yet there's no cure.
The symptoms of Lichen Sclerosus are itching, dryness, inflamed skin. There tends to be white, or grey patches of skin around the affected area.
To treat this condition topical steroid creams are used. This can lessen the symptoms and reduces fusion of the skin etc. Also a good moisturizing cream needs to be used, morning and night and avoid using any irritants near the skin such as soaps. I use epaderm emolient when I'm in the shower.
Everyone with Lichen Sclerosus is different. I use Doublebase cream, morning and night.
I use my steroid cream once a night.
Some people may say that's too much because steroid creams can cause other issues such as thinning of the skin, but right now I need this much cream to control my symptoms.
One of the things I found most difficult about Lichen Sclerosus is the lack of information about it. There was no one really to go to to ask questions, cause no one really knows what it was. I joined a forum that discussed LS, and it was maybe the biggest mistake I've ever made. A lot of people are very angry and bitter about their condition, didn't hesitate when telling me how miserable it could be at times and all the changes you have to make (I can no longer where nice sexy pants, its comfy cottons pants and I can't remember the last time I got a wax!!) but no one thought to say to me, its not the end of the world!!
I'm not going to kid, its RUBBISH having this!
But being angry and resentful of all the changes isn't going to help.
In a lot of aspects L.S hasn't had a massive impact. I can still have sex although there have been periods of weeks where I haven't managed. Some of the older women that have been married for 30 years and have kids that are all grown up have real issues about not being able to have sex as much anymore and are worried about their husbands leaving them.
Really makes you think, after all that time being married, having kids and you're worried he's going to leave you because of a medical condition?
But none of these people even think about how they may be making the younger generation of L.S sufferers feel. One of my biggest fears now is if me and my boyfriend ever break up. I love him to pieces so obviously I don't want us to break up. But if for some reason we do, I really doubt I'm going to find another man that can be so patient and understanding with my condition.
But there are partners out there that will accept it, and if they aren't willing to take it slow with sex and be patient and careful with you, then they aren't worth the time!!
P.S... I know there are times where having sex can hurt and be a bit sore, but regular sex means that the vaginal walls will be stretched and there's a smaller chance of everything getting too tight. So make sure you are READY for penetrative sex, lubrication is highly advised if you need it. And go for it.
(But avoid sex if you are tooo sore and have cuts etc.)