Lichen Sclerosus Treatment with the Stem Cell Lift® Procedure

An Update on This New, Promising and Natural Treatment 

By Nathan Newman, MD – Beverly Hills

Lichen Sclerosus et Atrophicus is a debilitating autoimmune disease that most commonly afflicts the genitalia of women and men of any age. Lichen Sclerosus sufferers usually experience itching and burning in the genitals that may go unrecognized for years as the disease is frequently misdiagnosed as an infection, such as a yeast infection, a urinary tract infection (UTI), or a venereal disease, such as herpes. Some patients go undiagnosed because their doctors may believe that Lichen Sclerosus can only occur in post-menopausal women. Other diseases of the genitalia such as Vulvodynia and Lichen Planus may manifest with similar symptoms alone or along with Lichen Sclerosus. Many patients with these conditions may have painful intercourse or cannot even have sexual intercourse, engage in physical activities, or even sit for any extended period of time due to discomfort experienced from the disease. Once diagnosed, the main stay of treatment has been topical potent steroids, such as Clobetasol, to alleviate the symptoms. However, conventional treatments may not result in relief of symptoms, nor halt the progression of the disease. Thus, patients suffering with this disease, searching for an effective lichen sclerosus treatment, have undergone the Stem Cell Lift® procedure in hopes of relief from their symptoms.

Dr Newman Preparing for Stem Cell Lift

Stem cells are specialized cells that are genetically programmed to help repair, restore and replenish damaged cells and tissues in our body. Unlike embryonic stem cells which are associated with ethical controversies and technical problems, the use of adult stem cells, which are found in all tissues and organs of the body, is both ethical and more practical. For over 40 years, stem cells derived from another individual’s bone marrow have been used to treat patients with blood born cancers through HLA-matched bone marrow transplantation from one donor to another recipient. More recently, technological advances have enabled the use of autologous (meaning self, from your own body to your own body) adult tissue stem cells and have opened up a new field of medicine called Regenerative Medicine.

Stem cell therapy is revolutionizing medicine in every field. As a pioneer in stem cell therapy, I innovated the Stem Cell Lift® treatment over 13-years ago for post-cancer reconstruction, wound healing, scar-free 3-dimensional (3-D) natural facelift, body contouring and rejuvenation using stem cells found in your own fat. About three years ago, a woman with Lichen Sclerosus who had learned about my work with stem cells contacted me to see what I thought about the use of autologous tissue stem cells for treating patients with Lichen Sclerosus. As fate would have it, due to my training as a Dermatologist I was familiar with auto-immune skin diseases, such as Lichen Sclerosus. Perhaps my training as a Dermatologist and a Cosmetic Surgeon, coupled with my years of experience and knowledge with stem cell therapy, was meant to be a vehicle to explore the use and effectiveness of the Stem Cell Lift® procedure in treating Lichen Sclerosus. I explained that stem cells have been shown to positively affect the immune response. I believed that the stem cells’ natural healing abilities may act in an anti-inflammatory capacity to help alleviate much of the debilitating symptoms of Lichen Sclerosus, such as the itching and burning. More optimistically, I hoped that the stem cells would actually stop the autoimmune disease and bring about remission (a state in which the autoimmune reaction is stopped, the disease is not active and does not progress).

How Stem Cells Work

During the Stem Cell Lift® procedure fat is removed from your own body and the stem cells found in this fat are concentrated and injected back into the treatment area. The fat contains the richest collection of stem cells of any tissue in the body. Compared to the same quantity of bone marrow, fat contains over a 100 times more stem cells. Separation and concentration of these regenerative stem cells yields large numbers of stem cells allowing for an effective single-day outpatient procedure without the need to culture (grow in the laboratory) or to alter the cells. Therefore, there is no need for FDA approval (FDA approves and monitors drugs, medication, and devices) as the Stem Cell Lift®  is considered a surgical procedure using your body’s own natural tissues. The Stem Cell Lift® procedure is usually carried out without the need for general anesthesia.

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), derived from a blood draw, contains a set of soluble factors that help reduce inflammation, improve circulation, aide in wound healing, and boost stem cell activity. In my experience, I believe that there is a synergistic and additive effect when combining the Stem Cell Lift® procedure with Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) in optimizing the treatment results. The use of your body’s own natural healing and restoring ability through the Stem Cell Lift® procedure may provide improvement in the health and quality of tissues and stop progression of the immune attack on the genitalia and skin.

My staff and I are in constant contact with our Lichen Sclerosus patients to monitor their progress and to study the tolerability and effectiveness of different protocols of the Stem Cell Lift® procedure with or without Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) in treating Lichen Sclerosus. To date, all of my patients with Lichen Sclerosus whom have undergone the Stem Cell Lift® procedure have reported significant overall improvement in their Lichen Sclerosus symptoms. To achieve optimal benefits, each patient underwent on average 2 treatments within a 6 to 12 month period. So far, I have performed over 100 Stem Cell Lift® procedures for Lichen Sclerosus patients. Most patients report a noted reduction in severity of symptoms, less intense and short-lived flare-ups (exacerbation of the symptoms), and a reduced need for the use of topical medications such as steroids. Patients report that they can resume their normal activities without discomfort. They are able to wear jeans and tight fitting clothing, participate in sports and have sex (intercourse). Patients have also noted improvement in their anatomy and in the quality of their skin and genital tissues.

The Stem Cell Lift® procedure is showing very promising results in bringing relief to Lichen Sclerosus sufferers. My staff and I are collecting data and tracking the progress of our patients in hopes of showing that the Stem Cell Lift® procedure may result in remission of Lichen Sclerosus. We hope to submit our findings for publication in medical journals to bring more awareness about Lichen Sclerosus as a disease and the possible use of stem cell therapy in its treatment.