A wide range of disorders can affect the genital area including common dermatoses like psoriasis and eczema and also a variety of conditions unique to genital skin. Genital skin behaves differently compared to regular skin and as a result, conditions in this area comprise a very specialized part of dermatology. It is crucial to accurately diagnose the condition so that treatment is appropriate. Some common conditions include:
Inflammation and rash of the skin at the area of contact with another substance. Often people who have sensitive skin will get contact dermatitis to common products that are used. Women with seasonal allergies are at an increased risk for dermatitis caused by allergens.
A chronic inflammatory skin condition characterized by red, itchy, scaly patches. On the vulva it often appears as a reddened intensely itchy area.
An autoimmune disorder characterized by itchy, thin skin often with white patches on the vulva. Lichen sclerosus is most commonly found on the mucosal surfaces of the vulva as well as around the anus. Left untreated there is a small, but increased, risk of cancer.
Inflammatory disorder of the skin and mucosal surfaces. Oral surfaces are commonly affected as well as the genitalia. Symptoms include itching burning and pain. Often vaginal and vulvar ulcers will develop.
Vulvar pain that is either provoked( happens with physical contact) or unprovoked (pain is present regardless of contact). It is important to note that this diagnosis is only a diagnosis of exclusion. This means that through careful history and physical exam no other causes are found for the pain. There are treatments for this which may include medication, physical therapy and sex therapy.
For more information regarding Gynecological Vulvar Disorders, please visit the National Vulvodynia Association's website: http://www.nva.org or the International Study of Vulvovaginal Disorders website: issvd.org
West Suburban Women's Health Ltd.
545 Plainfield Roads Suite C
Willowbrook, IL 60527
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