Objective. To call attention to constipation as a frequent sign of lichen sclerosus (LS) in girls.
Methods. A focused questionnaire was sent to parents of 24 girls with anogenital LS seen in the pediatric dermatology clinic at the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin between January 2001 and May 2004.
Results. Eighteen of 24 questionnaires were completed and returned. The average age of onset of LS was 4.2 years, but average age at diagnosis was 5.2 years; only 1 patient was diagnosed correctly by her primary care physician. Itching was the most common symptom (78%). Severe constipation was reported in 67% of patients, and 89% had at least 1 gastrointestinal complaint (bleeding with bowel movements, fissuring, soiling, fecal impaction, or constipation).
Conclusions. Childhood anogenital LS often presents with recalcitrant constipation or some other gastrointestinal complaint. Primary care physicians need to consider the diagnosis of LS and perform a thorough examination by looking for anogenital lesions when a female pediatric patient presents with unexplained constipation or other severe gastrointestinal complaints.