Vulvar and Vaginal Skin Disorders

Content written by Irwin Goldstein MD

OVERVIEW:

Vulvar and vaginal skin disorders can be the cause of sexual pain. The skin of the vulva and the mucosa of the vagina are susceptible to inflammatory skin disease that can cause ulcers, erosions, and scarring of the vulva. The most common of these disorders are lichen sclerosus and erosive lichen planus

CAUSES:

Lichen sclerosus and lichen planus are both auto-immune skin disorders.

SYMPTOMS:

Symptoms of Vulvar and vaginal skin disorders include: Vulvar itching, fissuring, tearing during intercourse, scarring of the vulva and vagina with loss of normal anatomic landmarks. With with lichen planus there may be a yellowish or blood-tinged discharge. This is also associated with thyroid dysfunction.

DIAGNOSTIC TESTS:

A Vulvoscopy and vulvar biopsy should be performed to diagnoise Vulvar and vaginal skin disorders.

TREATMENTS:

Treatments include topical corticosteroids, which should be started only after the vulvar biopsy has proven a diagnosis of a vulvar and vaginal skin disorder.

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