If you are experiencing pain, stinging, or burning in the vulva, you may be wondering what’s going on. Many women have vulvar skin symptoms that cause a great deal of discomfort and distress. Since the vulvar skin is quite sensitive and can be easily irritated, it’s crucial to know what to watch for.
Vulvar Skin Symptoms
Pain at the opening of the vulva is a symptom that affects women of all ages. The pain may be accompanied by rawness, stinging, pain with intercourse, or pain when inserting a tampon.
Itching is another common symptom that affects the vulvar skin. Itching often leads to scratching, which can cause the skin to tear and result in soreness, bleeding, and burning.
When it comes to vulvar skin, some of the other symptoms to look for include:
- White patches on the skin
- Change in skin texture
What Causes Vulvar Skin Symptoms
Some women opt to treat vulvar skin symptoms such as itching and inflammation with over-the-counter creams and lotions. However, the preservatives, perfumes, and chemicals in these products can irritate the skin further if the condition is due to a medical problem such as vaginal dysbiosis.
Vaginal dysbiosis is the result of an imbalance in the vaginal microflora. The vaginal microflora consists of multiple strains of bacteria but is usually dominated by the ‘good’ bacteria known as lactobacilli.
Lactobacilli provide a protective barrier against other organisms by producing lactic acid and hydrogen peroxide, which maintain the low pH of the vagina and suppress harmful organisms.
Problems develop when there is a shift in the bacterial milieu, which leads to an increase in the concentration levels of the ‘bad’ strains of bacteria. This is known as an altered vaginal microflora pattern.
The vaginal secretions from the altered vaginal microflora bathe the vaginal walls and irritate the vulva tissues, producing various vulvar skin symptoms.
Conditions That Can Cause Vulvar Skin Symptoms
- Lichen sclerosus
- Chronic vagina discharge
- Chronic yeast infection
- Recurrent bladder infection
When Should You See A Doctor?
If you have vulvar skin symptoms that won’t go away or worsen over time, it is important to see your doctor. These symptoms may lead to serious medical problems if left untreated.
Treating Vulvar Skin Symptoms
Treatment is available for vulvar skin symptoms, but the specific protocol used will depend on the condition being treated and the underlying cause.
Treating vulvar skin symptoms requires significant expertise and innovative diagnostic tools that many gynecologists prefer not to invest in. It is therefore essential to consult with an experienced gynecologist specializing in vulvovaginal issues.
You can get expert vulvovaginal healthcare from Fowler GYN International (FGI). FGI was founded by board-certified gynecologist Dr. R. Stuart Fowler, formerly of the Mayo Clinic. FGI has successfully treated thousands of women with complex vulvovaginal conditions using proven treatment plans.
FGI uses customized treatment protocols to address vulvar skin conditions caused by an altered vaginal microflora. Dr. Fowler developed the vaginal fluid analysis (VFA) test to help diagnose conditions linked to an abnormal microflora.
The VFA test analyses the vaginal constituents and detects an altered vaginal microflora pattern. If the microflora is abnormal, the results of the VFA test will determine the medications needed to restore it to a healthy state.
FGI also recommends a system of hypocontactant skincare products for women with vulvar skin symptoms. These products are free of chemicals that can irritate the vulva tissues.