Why is My Vagina Peeling?

Many medical conditions and lifestyle habits can cause itchy, flaky and scaly skin in the female vulva. These include hair removal products that irritate the skin, perfumed soaps and shampoos, scented feminine washes and panty liners. Allergies to lubricants, latex condoms and tea tree oil may also cause irritation.

The condition most often seen is lichen sclerosus, but there are several other conditions that can cause itchy peeling skin in the labia minora and perineum. See your doctor to get a diagnosis and a treatment plan.

Eczema

Eczema (dermatitis) in the pubic area can cause itchy and flaky skin. It can be triggered by contact with a certain substance or an allergic reaction to it. The rash can also be irritated by sweating, using fragranced soaps and bath products or tight-fitting clothing. If the rash is scratched, it can become inflamed and bleed.

The symptoms of eczema in the vulva vary from person to person, but it may include a red rash with scaly or scaly-looking skin. The rash can also be itchy and flaky. Eczema may develop in the folds of skin near the vagina and on the outer vulva, or in the vulva vestibule. It can also affect the inner genital area and lead to itching, burning sensations when urinating and a whitish-gray, cottage cheese-like discharge that can cause an infection called bacterial vaginosis.

A doctor can make a diagnosis of eczema in the pubic area by doing a visual assessment of the affected skin and taking a sample to be tested. They can recommend a treatment plan, which may include topical medications or a prescription cream. You can reduce the risk of eczema in your vulva by washing with a mild liquid soap and wearing loose, cotton underwear that doesn’t bind. You can also use a mild moisturizer and avoid harsh chemical-based deodorants and perfumes.

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Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a long-term autoimmune condition that speeds up skin cell growth, causing dry flaky patches of skin to form. The skin is itchy and painful, so you may want to scratch it. However, scratching causes damage to the outer layers of skin, so you should avoid this. Instead, try to find ways to manage your symptoms with home remedies such as using a gentle moisturizing cream and wearing breathable underwear.

There are different types of psoriasis, so your symptoms will vary depending on what type you have. For example, genital psoriasis is caused by an overactive immune system that causes your healthy skin cells to reproduce too quickly. It develops as patchy areas of dry, scaly skin that have white or silvery scales on light to white skin and red or purple colors on brown or black skin. Some people with genital psoriasis have pus-filled blisters in their groin or vulva area.

Other common symptoms of psoriasis include irritated, red, thick patches of skin called plaques. They look like raised, itchy bumps and usually appear on the knees, elbows, scalp, and lower back, but they can be anywhere on the body. The skin around the plaques can crack and bleed, especially when it is sore or itchy. You can treat your genital psoriasis by applying ointments and using prescription medications.

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Yeast Infection

Yeast (a type of fungus) is usually harmless and lives on the skin and inside the body, including the vagina. But when conditions in the vagina encourage yeast to grow out of control, it can cause a condition called candidiasis or vulva candidiasis. Itching, burning, and a thick, white, odorless vaginal discharge are common symptoms of a yeast infection.

Having a yeast infection doesn’t mean you have a sexually transmitted disease (STD). But it’s important to talk to your doctor if you are experiencing any of the other symptoms that can accompany this condition, such as a painful urination or soreness around the vulva.

A yeast infection can be caused by many things, from the antibiotics you take to the normal changes in your hormone levels during pregnancy or menstruation. Taking birth control pills and having unmanaged diabetes also increase your risk of getting a yeast infection. Other health problems, such as AIDS or cancer treatments, can suppress the immune system and make you more likely to get an infection.

Yeast infections are usually easy to treat with over-the-counter antifungal medicines. But if your symptoms don’t go away after one complete course of treatment, see your doctor. Also, let your doctor know before trying home treatments that aren’t well studied in women. Douching can make itchy areas worse and may lead to cuts that can spread germs and cause more infection.

Lichen Planus

Lichen planus (say ‘like-en plain-us’) is an autoimmune condition that causes bumps and sores in moist areas like your mouth, genitals, eyes, skin and scalp. It can also cause problems in your digestive tract and nervous system. It can be uncomfortable and embarrassing, and it may be difficult to diagnose. It’s not contagious, but it can be triggered by certain drugs or environmental factors. It can cause scarring that changes the shape of your vulva and makes it harder to have children.

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The oral form of lichen planus often looks like lacy patches of tiny white dots inside your mouth. The genital form usually affects the lower uterus and clitoris area and can be very painful. It can also cause sores and ulcers in your genital area. It can also appear in your nails, causing thinning, ridges and splits. It can also turn the vulva and vaginal mucous membranes bright red, causing pain during sex. The affected area might also stay slightly darker even after the rash clears up.

To make a diagnosis, your doctor will visually examine the genital area and ask about your health history. They may also do blood tests to check for autoimmune diseases and hepatitis C. They will also use a thin blade to take a small sample of the rash and send it to a lab for testing.

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