Vulvitis - Symptoms, Risk factors and Treatment

Vulvitis is the inflammation of vulva- soft skin located at the external female genitalia. Vulva remains moist and warm that makes it more susceptible to inflammation and infections. It can occur in any woman, but those having allergies, hypersensitivities, or infections puts them at more risk of getting it. Girls before getting menstrual cycles and post-menopausal women are at higher risk of vulvitis because of low estrogen levels. It can also occur due to injury, allergic reaction, or infection.


Causes


Vulvitis can occur due to allergies and infections. Other causes can be;


Using hygiene products like colored or perfumed toilet paper, vaginal sprays or douches, shampoos and hair conditioners, laundry detergents, and topical creams and medications.


Due to an allergic reaction to bubble bath or soap used on the genitals, spermicides, and sanitary napkins.


Irritation caused by douching a yeast infection, chlorinated water in swimming pools or hot tubs, wearing synthetic underwear or nylon pantyhose, wearing a wet bathing suit for a long time, biking or horseback riding for a long time, urinary incontinence, and poor personal hygiene.


Other factors that cause vulvitis can be;


  • diabetes

  • scabies 

  • eczema or dermatitis

  • pubic lice

  • herpes


Girls before getting menstrual cycles and post-menopausal women are at higher risk of vulvitis because of low estrogen levels that make the vulva tissues less elastic, thinner, and drier. It can also occur due to injury, allergic reaction, or infection.


Symptoms


The symptoms of vulvitis may show in various ways. It can show up as;


  • Itching

  • Soreness

  • Thickened or white patches

  • Vaginal discharge

  • Redness

  • Burning

  • Swelling 



On the valvular skin, it can cause;


  • The appearance of clear fluid-filled blisters

  • Having a scaly appearance

  • Severe and prolonged itching

  • Having a burning sensation

  • The appearance of small cracks


Overcleaning the affected area may make the symptoms worse. It is better that you wash it once daily with plain warm water. 


Complications 


Vulvitis is not a life-threatening condition, but it can affect you emotionally because it hinders your sexual life and physical activity. You may fear having sex due to vaginismus- spasm of vaginal muscles. It can also cause other complications like;


  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Relationship problems

  • Decreased quality of life

  • Sleep disturbances

  • Sexual dysfunction

  • Altered body image



Prevention 


To prevent vulvitis, the following tips may help.


  • Wear pure cotton underwears

  • Do not use douches and deodorants on the vaginal region

  • Do not use scented toilet paper

  • Do not use fabric softener for panties

  • Use pure cotton pads and tampons

  • Avoid pools rich in chlorine and hot bathtubs


Conclusion 


Vulvitis is the inflammation of vulva- soft skins located at the external female genitalia. Vulva remains moist and warm that makes it more susceptible to inflammation and infections. It can occur in any woman, but those having allergies, hypersensitivities, or infections puts them at more risk of it. Girls before getting menstrual cycles and post-menopausal women are at higher risk of vulvitis because of low estrogen levels. 


Doctors For Vulvitis

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