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Microsoft word - fusing -vs- atrophy explained.doc

FUSING & ATROPHY

1. HOW FUSING TAKES PLACE 2. FUSING VS. ATROPHY
HOW FUSING TAKES PLACE

Normally the mucous membranes are made to slide back and forth without sticking to one
another, (such as in the mouth, even our internal organs) they have a 'slickness' to them, (a
coating or covering,) without pulling on each other. Rub your tongue over the inside of your
cheek and you'll feel that.
When the skin or tissue has been severely irritated for a long time and the skin 'broken', whether
by 'severe' constant itching, or the splits, cuts, etc. caused by LS, or especially if surgery is
performed, it makes some of that tissue 'sticky' instead of 'slick', so that fibrous bands form
instead, this causes pulling on one or more of the surfaces when 'movement' occurs.
These 'fibrous bands' are natures way of trying to heal a broken or cut surface, much like when
we try to hem something and it keeps 'fraying' and we need to keep pulling more and more of the
material in to have it 'catch' before it 'split's' or rips again so to speak.
Medically if it's internal (as with surgery) we would call it 'ADHESIONS', (as when one organ
attaches to another) (it fuses or sticks) and can cause much pain with that 'pulling' .and happens
with most surgeries.
Externally such as with the vaginal lips or clitoral shaft we say 'fusing' or it's 'fused' together,
although some articles will call it 'adhesions' or 'scarring'. It looks as though the smaller
lips 'melted' into the larger ones) in other words stuck together. It may also be caused in the
clitoral area as that can look as if it's buckled inwards and the clitoral shaft (or penis skin) can't be
slid or moved.
Some doctors, esp. with the smaller lips fusing, might even call this 'ATROPHY', a withering
away, but atrophy is a very gradual thing where things just basically 'shrink' or disappear in size,
and is different than this fusing or adhesions. (See 2nd post I added below) *
So atrophy is not the correct term (to me) for our particular situation in many cases, but in a way
since the smaller lips can disappear they might be said to have atrophied or withered away, but
usually they are still there underneath, just buried, not really absorbed. But unfortunately some
doctors assume its atrophy when it's not true atrophy.
Another term might be called "AGGLUTINATION'. Which means simply the clumping together of
cells as a result of their contact with certain anti-bodies. Which is technically I suppose what
happens. as in a cut or break in the tissue (from any cause) the white blood cells come to do
battle to heal and look for foreign invaders (but the 'clumping' is the key word) the skin 'clumps'
together and forms a 'bridge' so to speak or scar tissue or what 'we' call fused.
Basically, Fusing is the act of joining 2 things together which is what technically happens. In
a tree or shrub, it's called called 'GRAFTING'. but a joining together with two cut or raw surfaces
that eventually grow together, but it's the same idea as nature tries to heal that wound. It's the
same thing that happens with men who have BXO.(LS in males) The foreskin adheres to the
head of the penis and the shaft will pull on that if tugged, (just as with our clitoris and it's shaft or
hood)
A MEDSCAPE ARTICLE I HAVE SAYS:
"Lichen sclerosus (LS) is an inflammatory dermatoses of the vulva with
potentially destructive consequences to a woman's perineum.
Long-term sequelae include atrophy of the labia minora, scarring of the
clitoral hood, and labial and/or clitoral hood 'adhesions."
FROM PUB MED:
"The moist, warm, occluded environment produces a tendency for the thin skin of the vulva to
erode and scar, resulting in a common final appearance often characterized by loss of the labia
minora and agglutination."
In the end, I think that Fusing is natures only way of healing us when nothing else has helped
and the pain has gone on 'chronically' for a long time, the same way that tree fuses to heal the cut
sides, so it's basically in a way 'scar' tissue.
USE OF ESTROGEN TO UNFUSE

As you probably all know by now, the Estrace (estrogen cream) 'may' help to unfuse (especially if
one is younger) as well as the natural Testosterone creams. And both are what worked for me
after 3 solid years of being fused (of the last 10 yrs I had this) with the smaller labial lips and the
clitoral shaft, but I'd say the Estrace (estradiol) most of all !!
They do know that it can help to 'unfuse' with children (many legitimate studies show that) and
many physicians think it won't work for adults but that's baloney, and of course not everyone, but
it has many right here on this list, and it's certainly our best shot. I think the confusion comes
about as I stated between 'true' atrophy and simply adhesions or fusing.
Also Estrace can help soften scar tissue as well, it's wonderful for its wound healing abilities in
the skin no matter what disease name we give it to rebuild that tissue and get it healthy. I'm not
saying it would work for everyone as far as unfusing, (they may have true atrophy) but
it definitely did me and completely healed and unfused me and it ''will'' get that tissue stronger
and healthier (regardless of age).
FUSING VS. ATROPHY

I wanted to make a comment on fusing vs. atrophy and hope it helps clarify it a bit and how 'I'
think of it.
Fusing is far different than atrophy as far as I'm concerned and often mistaken to be the
same, unfortunately. (I also belong to an 'adhesion' med.org group, though mainly surgical
adhesions but it's still apropos)
One way to think of 'ATROPHY' might be this. if we poured 'cream' into our coffee, it dissolves
and becomes a part of the coffee and cannot be separated from it, it's now a part of it. that is the
absorption or atrophy of the smaller labial lips into larger, a disappearing of the original and
absorbed into the other and can no longer be separated as an actual part.
Basically atrophy is a shrinkage back and becoming a part of it but it disappears gradually as it
''all'' shrinks or sort of 'withers' away and disappears gradually over time. (Fusing takes place
fairly quickly) Atrophy is basically a wasting away or diminishing and is progressive as it's
absorbed into the body.
BUT.
FUSING or adhesions may ''appear'' to be the same as ATROPHY to an untrained eye, since it
too looks like it's melting 'into' or dissolving into the larger labial lips but technically it's a whole
different process. It's more like melting cheese on top of a hamburger, but it can be peeled back
off (or surgically released) and isn't an actual 'part' of the meat. (Wish I could have thought of
better metaphors.)
From a pathologists point of view, fusing or adhesions are actually 'scar tissue' and totally
different than atrophy and why in my mind it 'can' be helped!!
You know how often I've said how it's like a 'grafting' of a tree, two parts 'stuck' together that grow
together or form a bridge to become one, but the original structure is still there underneath that
bridge or fibrous bands. (Fusing) as the photo shows.
When those membranes are once broken and no longer slick as they're meant to be but now
are sticky, they stick to each other and grow together. (It’s the same thing in a surgical procedure
and why we get adhesions of internal organs by the way)
BUT. oftentimes 'can' be separated and restored and I've stated that it's NATURE trying to heal
us, and that is 'exactly' what it is.
Inflammation which is the start of this process is said to resolve when no structural cells have
been lost after the inflammatory process is complete and other cellular processes have cleaned
up the area.
But.when the tissue has been damaged during this inflammatory process, esp. mucous
membranes like the vulva as with LS (lichen sclerosus), or LP (lichen planus) and the tissue itself
is still 'alive', the tissue will do either
ONE of TWO things.
1. ''REGENERATE ' so there is no fusing or scar tissue but healed by ones own body or immune
system, and steroids themselves by the way, do NOT do this, but allow the body to heal itself by
halting the symptoms (causes of inflammation), even antihistamines work like that in a small way
to help stop that inflammation and so do steroids or the immunomodulators like Elidel or Protopic,
they halt the inflammation, burn, itch etc. to allow our 'own' immune system to regenerate.
OR the tissue will.
2. BE REPAIRED BY FIBROUS TISSUE (bands) !
This is the fusing or adhesions *scar tissue* so often found with LS. (As in the picture above and
you can see those fibrous bands.
If 'none' of the latter is needed (those bands) by the body (that fibrous tissue), the word
"RESOLUTION" is applied, it's restored, and we’re healed, no scars.
But……. If any repair by that fibrous tissue occurs, there will be a scar and we have 'fusing'.
With the addition of estrogen (As with the Estrace creams) since estrogen 'can' soften scar tissue
and is well known for its wound and skin healing properties, the body can restore some of those
cells and 'unfuse' or 'separate' those parts in many cases as it did me completely. It can even
halt the original forming of that scar tissue in some cases to prevent those 'bridges' (fibrous
bands) from forming in the first place.
I hope that helps explain it a little bit better and how 'I' see the differences.
Dee~ ; )

Source: http://www.lichensclerosus.net/docs/FUSING.pdf

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