Causes, Symptoms and Treatments and Home Remedies

Anytime you notice something unusual in your vagina, it’s normal to worry, especially if it’s something unsightly and unpleasant like a rash. It’s good to be concerned and aware of what’s normal and what’s not with your body, but don’t panic. Jhere are many benign reasons why you might have a rash around your vagina, and there are things you can do to get rid of the problem and prevent it from happening again.

“A vaginal rash can appear on the outer part of the vulva, between or on the labia minora (inner labia) and labia majora (outer labia), or even around the anus,” says Susan S. Khalil, MD, a gynecologist at Mount Sinai Hospital and assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. The rash may look reddish, be painful, have a burning or itchy sensation, or have no sensation at all, and it may also appear scaly or patchy, or be accompanied by bumps or patchy areas.

Even if a vaginal rash is caused by something as ordinary as using a new soap or wearing a new type of cloth underwear, it’s always a good idea to check with your doctor to make sure there’s nothing more serious that requires specific treatment to eradicate it. “When it comes to vaginal health, it is important to pay attention to its color and consistency to detect any abnormal signs. If you start to experience any abnormalities or discomfort, such as itching, rash, discharge, or pain, it’s important to see a trusted healthcare professional,” says Jessica Shepherd, MD, obstetrician, expert in women’s health and founder of Sanctum. Wellness in Dallas, Texas.

Learn about these common causes of vaginal rash, plus what to do to find relief.

If it’s irritated or itchy, but you don’t have any discharge, it could be contact dermatitis.

It’s basically your body’s adverse reaction to coming into contact with some kind of irritant. So, just as your lips can become irritated after using a new type of lip balm or lipstick that doesn’t suit you, the same can happen to your vaginal area when you wear scented tampons, use a cleansing wipe, shave with shaving products like soap, shower gel, or shaving cream, or even use a new laundry detergent to wash your underwear. It can also happen if you sweat while wearing tight clothes or trying a new type of lubricant during sex. “Many substances can cause vaginal irritation, from bodily fluids and sweat to hygiene and personal care products,” says Dr. Shepherd.

Treatment: Try eliminating any products that are newer in your regimen to see if that helps your rash subside and stay away.

Shaved recently? This could be the culprit.

Your personal grooming preferences are up to you, but if you shave or touch up your bikini line and beyond, it could cause folliculitis, a type of skin irritation that can appear as a rash, be itchy and frequently accompanied by pimple-like pimples. or bumps. And ask yourself if you’ve recently tried a new body wash, shaving cream or razor to facilitate a smoother shave – this could also cause skin irritation or contact dermatitis.

Treatment: Removing bath and body products you suspect may be irritating, replacing your razor with one that’s sharper or more efficient, or stopping shaving altogether can help.

When a discharge or smell that you know is not normal accompanies a vaginal rash, it may be a bacterial infection.

Bacterial vaginosis is the most common vaginal condition in women between the ages of 15 and 44, and it occurs when the bacterial makeup of your vaginal microbiome becomes disrupted and out of balance. Along with a rash and itching, you may also notice a foul fishy odor, as well as gray, white, or green discharge, and sometimes burning when you urinate.

Treatment: This is a case where you are going to want to see your doctor as soon as possible, who can provide you with antibiotics or a cream to treat the symptoms.

An itchy, painful rash on the vulva that keeps coming back could be vulvar dermatosis.

“Vulvar dermatoses are a group of inflammatory skin conditions of the vulva, or the outer part external to the vagina,” says Dr. Khalil. The rash or legions can also be accompanied by vulvar pain, depending on the specific condition causing them, and they are more common in postmenopausal women, although younger women can also experience them.

Treatment: Your doctor can diagnose you and help you determine what type of vulvar dermatoses you have, so they can get you the right treatment (which usually includes topical, oral, or injectable steroids to relieve inflammation and clear the rash).

If a rash appears after unprotected sex, you may have an STI.

A rash can be a symptom of certain sexually transmitted infections (STIs), many of which cause other symptoms to develop, such as ulcers. Genital herpes and syphilis are common STIs that present themselves this way, Dr. Khalil says, but other infections such as scabies or pubic lice can cause a rash or extreme itching without ulcers.

Treatment: It is crucial to consult your doctor in order to prevent it from getting worse, and so you can get advice on how to avoid spreading it to others, as well as appropriate treatment.

An itchy or burning rash inside your vagina may signal a yeast infection.

A yeast infection doesn’t always cause a rash, but sometimes it does, and it can also produce a cottage cheese-like discharge. Even without a rash, vaginal pain, itching, or burning inside the vagina without doing anything, urinating, or having sex are tell-tale symptoms of a yeast infection. It is caused by an overgrowth of yeast, which can be triggered by the use of antibiotics, pregnancy, low estrogen, poorly controlled diabetes, oral contraceptives, and a weakened immune system.

Treatment: “If you’ve ever had a yeast infection, you can use over-the-counter yeast infection products,” Dr. Khalil says, but it’s always a good idea to contact your doctor, especially if you don’t. have ever had. yeast infection before, to be sure you are using the right treatment that will eliminate the fungal infection and to get a proper diagnosis.

A scaly, plaque-like vaginal rash can be caused by psoriasis.

Systemic conditions such as psoriasis sometimes cause a rash in the vaginal area, often characterized by a rash that looks particularly scaly or has patches of dry, raised plaque, Dr. Khalil says. Psoriasis rarely affects only the genitals, so you’ll likely have experienced a similar rash on other parts of your body before — but up to two-thirds of people with psoriasis will have genital psoriasis, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation. Besides the vaginal area, the rash can also appear on your inner thighs, pubic skin just above your vagina, or around your buttocks or anus.

Treatment: Consult a dermatologist, who can help you develop the right psoriasis treatment plan for you.

What to know about treating and preventing vaginal rashes:

As long as a vaginal rash is not caused by something that requires treatment prescribed by your doctor, such as an STI or yeast infection, you can often prevent, control, or get rid of a vaginal rash on your own. . One of the best strategies is a hands-off approach — that means avoiding topical relievers that could potentially make things worse, and instead keeping the area dry, clean, and able to breathe so it has time to clear up.

Evaluate your personal care routine and the products you use, and consider removing products or steps that seem to trigger irritation, such as swapping or ditching your razor, or avoiding soaps, scented feminine products, lubricants, spermicides or detergents that cause a rash. pop-up, says Dr. Shepherd. And if you’re prone to vaginal rashes, try to avoid wearing tight clothes, which can cause irritating chafing, block airflow, and trap moisture, all common causes of vaginal rashes.

But, if in doubt, always consult your doctor.

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