Preparing for your appointmentBy Mayo Clinic staff
If you have signs and symptoms common to lichen sclerosus, make an appointment with your family doctor or general practitioner. After an initial examination, your doctor may refer you to a specialist in the diagnosis and treatment of skin conditions (dermatologist).
Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment, and what to expect from your doctor.
What you can do
- Write down your symptoms and how long you've had them.
- Write down your key medical information, such as other conditions with which you've been diagnosed and any prescription or over-the-counter medications you're using, including vitamins and supplements.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor. Creating your list of questions in advance can help you make the most of your time with your doctor.
Below are some basic questions to ask your doctor about possible lichen sclerosus. If any additional questions occur to you during your visit, don't hesitate to ask.
- What do you think is causing my symptoms?
- What treatment approach do you recommend, if any?
- If the first treatment doesn't work, what will you recommend next?
- How much do you expect my symptoms will improve with treatment — and how soon?
- Will I need treatment for this condition for the rest of my life?
- What self-care steps can I follow to ease my symptoms?
- Am I at risk of complications from this condition?
- Is there anything I can do to help prevent a recurrence?
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may reserve time to go over any points you want to talk about in-depth. Your doctor may ask:
- What are your symptoms, and when did they begin?
- How severe is your discomfort?
- Have you noticed any bleeding?
- Do your symptoms include pain with urination or bowel movements?
- Do your symptoms include pain with sexual intercourse?
- Have you had any previous injuries to the affected area?
- Have you had prescription treatments for this condition?
- Have you been diagnosed with any other medical conditions?
- What medications are you taking, including prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, herbs, and supplements?
- Goldsmith LA, et al, eds. Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 8th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=56040547. Accessed Aug. 28, 2012.
- What is lichen sclerosus? National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Lichen_Sclerosus/default.asp. Accessed Aug. 28, 2012.
- Murphy R. Lichen sclerosus. Dermatology Clinics. 2010;28:707.
- Chi CC, et al. Topical interventions for genital lichen sclerosus. Cochrane Database Systematic Reviews. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD008240.pub2/abstract. Accessed Aug. 28, 2012.
- Wehbe-Alamah H, et al. Silent no more! The lived experiences of women with lichen sclerosis. Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. 2012;24:499.