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Lichen sclerosus et atrophicus and sexual abuse.
  1. S A Warrington,
  2. C de San Lazaro
  1. Department of Child Health, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Lindisfarne Centre, Royal Victoria Infirmary.


    AIMS: The aetiology of lichen sclerosus et atrophicus (LSA) is unknown. A series of 42 cases of this uncommon condition is reported. The aim of this study was to identify associations of LSA and document the association with sexual abuse. METHODS: Information about the patients was obtained by retrospective case note review and some patients were contacted by telephone for further information. RESULTS: In 12 cases there was evidence of sexual abuse. The abused group were slightly older than the non-abused group but were similar in all other respects. All three patients who presented over the age of 12 years had evidence of sexual abuse. Genital trauma was recalled by the patient or found at examination in 17 cases. Evidence of autoimmunity was present in five cases. Positive microbiological isolates were obtained in 18 cases. In only 11 cases were there no associated factors. The symptoms of LSA started between the ages of 3 and 7 years in most patients. The usual symptoms were related to genital skin involvement, and symptoms related to bladder and bowel function were common (50%). CONCLUSION: In this large series of paediatric LSA, associations with trauma, autoimmunity, and infection were noted. There was a high rate of coexisting sexual abuse with LSA, possibly due to genital trauma.

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