The list of symptoms mentioned in various sources for Lichen sclerosus includes:
- White spots
- Skin thinning
- Crinkled skin
- Skin tears easily
- Scar tissue
- Symptoms of female genital lichen sclerosis
- Vulva lips shrinking
- Clitoris scarring
- Vaginal narrowing
- Vaginal bruising - often from rubbing or pressure
- Urination pain
- Pain and bleeding from intercourse
- Symptoms of male genital lichen sclerosis
- Foreskin scarring
- Foreskin tightening
- Foreskin shrinking
- Decreased penis tip sensation
- Painful erections
- Urethral narrowing
- Urethral obstruction
- Urinary difficulty
- Symptoms of anal lichen sclerosis
- Anal pain and discomfort
- Tissue thinning and tearing
Symptoms vary depending on the area affected. Patients experience very different degrees of discomfort. When lichen sclerosus occurs on parts of the body other than the genital area, most often there are no symptoms, other than itching. If the disease is severe, bleeding, tearing, and blistering caused by rubbing or bumping the skin can cause pain.
Very mild lichen sclerosus of the genital area may cause itching, but often causes no symptoms at all (in early stages). If the disease worsens, itching is the most common symptom. Rarely, lichen sclerosus of the vulva may cause extreme itching that interferes with sleep and daily activities.
Rubbing or scratching to relieve the itching can create painful sores and bruising, so that many women must avoid sexual intercourse, tight clothing, tampons, riding bicycles, and other common activities that involve pressure or friction. Urination can be accompanied by burning or pain, and bleeding can occur, especially during intercourse. When lichen sclerosus develops around the anus, the discomfort can lead to constipation. This is particularly common in children.
Most men with genital lichen sclerosus have not been circumcised. They sometimes experience difficulty pulling back the foreskin and have decreased sensation in the tip of the penis. Occasionally, erections are painful, and the urethra (the tube through which urine flows) can become narrow or obstructed.