Lichen Sclerosus Diet: Foods to Eat and Foods to Avo >
Lichen sclerosus is a chronic, inflammatory skin disease. It causes thin, white, patchy areas of skin that can be painful, tear easily, and itch. These areas can appear anywhere on the body, but are usually found on the vulva, around the anus, or on the foreskin of the penis in uncircumcised men.
Lichen sclerosis most commonly affects postmenopausal women, but can erupt at any age. It currently has no cure. Even though men get this condition, it’s classified as part of a group of vaginal disorders called vulvodynia.
There is little-to-no research on the impact of diet on lichen sclerosus. The Vulval Pain Society provides some research pointing to the potential benefit of diet changes, like a low-oxalate diet, that may affect pain level. Findings are not conclusive, and a low-oxalate diet has been refuted by another study.
This lack of ironclad evidence doesn’t mean you should not try a low-oxalate diet, especially if a urine test indicates you have high levels of oxalate in your urine. Eliminating high-oxalate food is effective, for some women. You can also talk to your doctor, or dietitian, about the low-oxalate diet, and its potential benefit for you.
There are also alternative diet plans, which might be effective. Around 20 to 30 percent of women with lichen sclerosus have an autoimmune disease , such as rheumatoid arthritis. If so, you may also wish to discuss the potential benefits of the autoimmune protocol diet with your physician, to determine which food plan is best for you to try.
The low-oxalate diet eliminates high-oxalate foods and drinks. These include:
- spinach, raw and cooked
- canned pineapple
- many boxed cereals
- dried fruit
- rice bran
- bran flakes
- soy flour
- brown rice flour
- potatoes in all forms, including baked, French fries, and potato chips
- buckwheat groats
- cocoa powder, and hot chocolate
- nut products, such as peanut butter