What is Vulval Lichen Planus?

Vulval Lichen Planus is a chronic inflammatory condition that affects the skin of the vulva, the outer part of the female genitalia. It is a variant of lichen planus, which can affect various parts of the body, but in this case, it specifically impacts the vulva.

What Causes Vulval Lichen Planus?

The exact cause of Vulval Lichen Planus is not fully understood. It is believed to be an autoimmune condition, where the body's immune system mistakenly attacks the cells of the vulval skin. However, it is not contagious, and you cannot catch it from another person.

Symptoms of Vulval Lichen Planus:

  • Itching (pruritus)
  • Burning sensation
  • Pain or discomfort, especially during intercourse
  • Redness and inflammation
  • Thickened patches of skin
  • White, lacy patches
  • Ulceration or sores
  • Scarring (in severe cases)


Diagnosing Vulval Lichen Planus usually involves a thorough examination of the affected area by a healthcare professional. In some cases, a biopsy may be needed to confirm the diagnosis.

1. Topical Treatments: Creams or ointments containing corticosteroids or calcineurin inhibitors may help reduce inflammation and itching

2. Oral Medications: In some cases, oral medications such as corticosteroids or antihistamines may be prescribed to help manage symptoms.

3. Phototherapy: Light therapy (phototherapy) may be recommended in some cases to help reduce inflammation and itching.

4. Lifestyle Changes: Avoiding irritants such as perfumed soaps, tight-fitting clothing, and excessive moisture in the genital area can help alleviate symptoms.

5. Regular Follow-Up: It's important to have regular follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider to monitor your condition and adjust treatment as needed to decrease the risk of developing vulval cancer.

Self-Care Tips:

  • Keep the vulval area clean and dry.
  • Wear loose-fitting cotton underwear.
  • Avoid scratching the affected area.
  • Use mild, unscented soaps and detergents.
  • Use lubricants during intercourse to reduce friction and discomfort.
  • Practice stress-reducing techniques, as stress can sometimes exacerbate symptoms.

When to Seek Medical Advice:

If you experience symptoms such as persistent itching, burning, or discomfort in the vulval area, it's important to seek medical advice. Early diagnosis and treatment can help manage symptoms and prevent complications.


Vulval Lichen Planus can be a challenging condition to live with, but with the right treatment and self-care strategies, it is possible to manage symptoms and improve quality of life. If you have any concerns or questions about your condition, don't hesitate to speak to your healthcare provider.

Remember, you are not alone, and support is available to help you through your journey with Vulval Lichen Planus.

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