Vaginal Rashes and Sores
There is a wide range of possible causes for a rash or sores to begin appearing in or around the vagina. Many of these conditions will result in a fair amount of discomfort that will send patients to their OBGYN’s office. However, it is always advised to seek treatment from a female health specialist if you notice any kind of new bump or discoloration in your genital region.
Most Common Types of Vaginal Rashes
A rash in or around the vagina can range from being very mild to severe in nature, depending upon the particular type of rash and how far its symptoms have progressed. Women with a vaginal rash are typically dealing with one of the following conditions:
- Vaginitis: Vaginitis is an infection or inflammation of the vagina that can cause itching, burning, a change in vaginal discharge, and pain during sex. There are a variety of more specific forms of vaginitis, including yeast infections, trichomoniasis, and bacterial vaginosis. All types of vaginitis can be easily treated using over-the-counter medications or a prescribed antibiotic.
- Contact dermatitis: This is a kind of skin condition that occurs when the individual’s skin comes into contact with an irritating substance, causing a reaction like swelling or itching. It is important to determine the source of this issue, which could be anything your vagina recently came into contact with such as a new detergent or new brand of tampons.
- Psoriasis: Another skin condition called psoriasis can affect any area of the body and cause rough, red patches to appear. When scratched, these patches may become infected, leading to worsening symptoms that require treatment from a professional.
- Scabies: The biggest symptom associated with this condition is itching. Scabies are caused by a tiny insect that burrows itself into the tissue around your vagina. These mites are so small that you won’t be able to see them, but you will certainly notice the intense itchiness you begin to feel near your genitals, particularly at night time. Scabies are most often spread via skin-to-skin contact, or by using sheets or towels that are infested with these little bugs.
- Pubic lice: This insect won’t burrow into your skin, but it will live in your pubic hair and lead to the same itching sensation as scabies.
- Various sexually transmitted infections: Common STIs like herpes and syphilis will present symptoms such as a rash near the vagina. These infections will also often lead to the formation of bumps and sores around the genitals.
Most Common Types of Genital Sores
In addition to STIs, many women will experience lumps or sores in or around their vagina as a result of:
- Vulvovaginitis: This condition describes an infection or more general inflammation of the vulva and vagina. Vulvovaginitis can affect women of all ages, and should not be cause for alarm unless the infection has progressed significantly over time. To avoid such an issue, you should seek treatment soon after you notice symptoms lasting longer than 1 or 2 days.
- Cysts: A cyst can form anywhere on the body, and is normally benign. These large lumps and bumps are not typically painful, though they should be examined by a medical professional to rule out any risk of the cyst being cancerous.
- Ingrown Hairs: Like cysts, ingrown hairs can appear anywhere on the body that is covered in even the thinnest hairs. Ingrown hairs occur when the hair gets trapped under the skin where it continues growing, which leads to a small bump on the skin. These are especially common in areas that have been recently shaved, waxed, or plucked. There is no reason to worry over an ingrown hair, though if you experience them frequently you may consider altering current shaving or waxing methods to be more gentle on your skin.
When Should You Seek Treatment?
Although there are many potential conditions that could be causing symptoms such as a noticeable rash, bumps, or sores in or around the vagina it is generally advised that individuals see a gynecologist soon after they notice any abnormalities in this region. To see an OBGYN specialist from Women's Health of Central Virginia, please call our office in Lynchuburg, Virginia today to schedule an appointment!