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What’s Going on Down There?

by Denise Rizzolo, PhD, PA-C

Vulvovaginitis is inflammation of the vulva and vaginal tissues and is characterized by vaginal discharge and/or vulvar itching and irritation as well as possible vaginal odor.  It accounts for 10 million visits yearly in the US and is the most common gynecologic complaint in prepubertal girls. Once condition that has gained interest in the medicine is lichen sclerosus. Lichen sclerosus (LS) was described for the first time in 1887. Since then, many synonyms have been in use, notably ‘Kraurosis vulvae,’ ‘vulvar dystrophy,’ ‘white spot disease,’ and ‘lichen sclerosus et atrophicus’ or ‘guttate scleroderma.’  All of these terms have been abandoned and replaced by ‘lichen sclerosus (LS).’ LS is a chronic, inflammatory skin disease with a distinct predilection for the anogenital region. The exact prevalence of LS is difficult to ascertain and probably underestimated, since patients present to various clinical specialties. Often many clinicians do not always recognize symptoms and/or patients may not report symptoms because of embarrassment or because they are asymptomatic by the time they see their healthcare provider.  If you want to learn more about lichen sclerosus and other vulvovaginal disorders come to my lecture “What’s Going on Down There?”

See Denise Rizzolo, PhD, PA-C speak in 2018 at a Skin, Bones, Hearts & Private Parts event in Destin, Orlando, or San Antonio.