Why is My Vagina Peeling?

The skin around the vulva can become flaky, itchy and irritated. This can be due to a variety of things including a contact rash (atopic dermatitis) from soap, fragrance, laundry detergent or lubricants.

Lichen sclerosus might also be to blame. This is a skin condition that might affect postmenopausal women or young girls who haven’t entered puberty yet. The symptoms include crinkly and shiny skin with intense itching and white patches with a lacey pattern.

Eczema

Eczema around the vagina, a condition called vulvar dermatitis or perianal eczema, can be painful and irritating. It affects the soft folds of skin that surround your labia majora and may cause thin cracks, red patches, weeping and crusting. If you have eczema, your doctor will recommend avoiding irritants like harsh soaps and fragranced products and wearing loose, cotton underwear that breathes well. They will also advise you to use a moisturizing cream or ointment that’s designed for the vulva.

Eczma can be triggered by emotional stress, physical irritants such as sanitary pads, and by chemicals in feminine hygiene products. Your doctor will assess your symptoms and ask questions about your family history, allergies and if you’ve tried over-the-counter products.

Your gynecologist will perform a visual exam of your vulva and examine the condition of the skin, including any dry flaky patches or areas of irritation. They’ll also ask about your daily activities and lifestyle. They might take a sample of your vaginal discharge to look for infections such as bacterial vaginosis and yeast – This element is the result of the service team’s research Enchanting Euphoria.

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Psoriasis

If you have genital psoriasis, it typically causes red, flaky patches of skin that are itchy. These patches can be irritated by friction from tight or loose clothing, sweat and dampness, or from feces or urine. Yeast infections, which also can cause itching and peeling of the skin, can worsen the condition.

Doctors don’t know what causes psoriasis, but they think it may be an immune system problem that triggers the growth of new skin cells too quickly. They also believe genetics plays a role, because it tends to run in families.

There are many treatment options for psoriasis, including creams, medicines and light therapy. The most common is an aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) agonist, such as tapinarof (Vtama).

Other treatments include psoralen plus ultraviolet-A radiation (PUVA), which uses a medicine called psoralen and a special form of UV light to slow the growth of skin cells. Your doctor may also prescribe high-potency steroid creams or oral corticosteroids, as well as estrogen cream in women.

Candida

The vulva contains healthy bacteria and a yeast called Candida. Yeast infections (candidiasis) occur when there is overgrowth of candida. They can cause a thick, cottage cheese-like discharge and intense itching. They may also lead to a urinary tract infection (UTI). A UTI is more likely in older adults and people who are hospitalized or immune-compromised.

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Yeast infections can be caused by irritation and other conditions that affect the skin of the vulva, such as dry skin, psoriasis, or eczema. Other causes include bacterial infections, sexually transmitted diseases, and allergic reactions to soaps, creams, or other vaginal products.

Symptoms of a yeast infection often include itching, burning sensation when peeing, pain during intercourse, and a whitish-gray, clumpy, cottage cheese-like discharge. These symptoms are more common in women. A doctor can treat a yeast infection with over-the-counter antifungal medications. Other treatments can be used to relieve discomfort and itching, including steroid ointments or moisturizers. It is important to report all of your symptoms when visiting a clinic or hospital. This will help the clinician determine what is causing itching and what treatments will work best.

Herpes

The herpes simplex virus (HSV) causes cold sores and genital herpes. The virus enters the body through the skin on the mouth, genitals or anus or through small cuts elsewhere on the body and then lives in nerve cells. It is very contagious and can cause painful sores that ooze and crust over. It can also cause flu-like symptoms like fever, swollen glands and tiredness. Many people have repeated outbreaks of herpes over time (‘recurrences’), but the episodes are usually shorter and less severe than the first one. Medicines can decrease the length and severity of herpes outbreaks but they don’t cure the infection.

There are many things that can cause dry skin around the vulva including infections and conditions that affect skin in general, as well as those specific to the reproductive organs. These include:

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Lichen Planus

Lichen planus is an autoimmune condition that can affect your mouth, nails and genitals. It causes bright red, painful areas of rashes and itchy patches that appear on the skin or mucous membranes. This condition can also cause white spots to develop on the tongue and inside of the cheeks. If it spreads to the lips, you may experience difficulty chewing or swallowing. This rash can also appear on your fingernails and toenails, causing thinning, ridges, splitting and nail loss.

In some cases, long-term lichen planus can develop into precancerous lesions (leukoplakia) of the tongue, vulva and penis. These can be difficult to distinguish from a squamous cell cancer, which can be diagnosed with a biopsy.

To make a diagnosis, you should see your health care provider. Tell your doctor about any symptoms you’ve been having and how long they’ve been occurring. Also, share any medicines you take, including vitamins and supplements. Your doctor may prescribe a corticosteroid cream or ointment to treat the rash. These medications can help ease pain, swelling and itching.

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