Lichen sclerosus has two different faces: Western versus eastern face


  • Khalifa E. Sharquie Department of Dermatology, College of Medicine, University of Baghdad. Medical City Teaching Hospital, Baghdad, Iraq
  • Thamir A. Kubaisi Department of Dermatology, College of Medicine, University of Anbar, Ramadi, Anbar, Iraq
  • Inas K. Sharquie Department of Microbiology and Immunology, College of Medicine, University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq


Lichen sclerosus, Genital disease, Iraqi population, Western countries, Middle East, Leukoderma


Background In Western countries, lichen sclerosus is a common disease that affects commonly middle-aged females that present most commonly as a disease of genital and anal regions in both sexes while extra-genital involvement is less frequent. Objective To record all cases of lichen sclerosus in the Iraqi population as one of the Middle East countries and to do a full clinical evaluation and be compared with published literature as seen in Western countries Methods This is a cross-sectional descriptive study where all patients with lichen sclerosus were recorded during the period from 2013-2022. All demographic features were estimated and full history and examination were carried out. A histopathological assessment was performed as a confirmatory test. Results All data related to 28 patients with lichen sclerosus were registered and evaluated. The age of patients has a bimodal peak in incidence from prepubertal to a postmenopausal age group and ranged from 8-63 years with a median of 40 years with 24(85.7%) females and 4(14.2%) males with a ratio of 6:1.The clinical features of the disease were found to be genital involvement in three (10.7%) patients, one male with follicular lesions of the penis and two females with vulval involvement: one with extensive atrophy of vulva while the other with very early lesions). While 25(89.2%) cases with extragenital sites where the trunk and limbs were the main locations but lips were affected in one female patient another one the ears were involved. The primary lesions in almost half of the cases were follicular whitish sclerosed macules, some with follicular plugs. These lesions over time coalesced together into larger whitish ivory leukoderma in the form of patches and plaques. The rash was localized in 22(78.6%) cases while extensive in 5(17.9%) patients. The lesion was asymptomatic apart from slight discomfort and itching but was severe intractable itching in the female genitalia. The HE-stained sections showed complete atrophy of the epidermis with complete sclerosis of the dermis leaving sub-epidermal cleft. Conclusion Lichen sclerosus is a disease of females that commonly presents with extragenital whitish sclerosed leukoderma in the form of follicular macules, patches and plaques while female genital involvement is a rare presentation. The likelihood of extragenital lichen sclerosus following the Blaschko lines was pronounced.



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How to Cite

Sharquie KE, Kubaisi TA, Sharquie IK. Lichen sclerosus has two different faces: Western versus eastern face. J Pak Assoc Dermatol [Internet]. 2024Apr.21 [cited 2024May22];34(2):485-92. Available from:



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