Female Genital Skin Conditions

Female Genital Skin Conditions

Whether it’s finally getting the correct diagnosis, the best treatment or even advice on the ways we can rejuvenate your most intimate area. At the Skin Specialist Centre we will take very good care of you. We know that vulval skin disease is often not discussed, even with your GP. We also know that getting the right diagnosis can be the first step in planning how to deal with the problems, discomfort and irritation. You are not alone, in fact many women are affected. 

The vulva can sometimes be involved in more widespread skin conditions (such as eczema and psoriasis) or be the only site involved. Conditions often impact women greatly with vulval diseases having a profound effect on quality of life, including sexual activity and wellbeing. Because of the sensitive nature, many women delay disclosing symptoms to their doctor and this leads to a delayed diagnosis and a lack of support. In addition, many doctors are not familiar or expert in examining the vulva or diagnosing and treating these unique conditions. A dermatologist is a specialist trained in skin diseases including those affecting the vulva. This means we have seen plenty of cases and we know the best treatments to recommend. There are a wide variety of conditions so getting the correct diagnosis is critical.

Types of Female Genital Skin Conditions

Eczema: This is a common itchy and chronic skin disease that can affect children and adults. However, when it involves the Vulva, changes in the appearance of the Eczema can make diagnosis difficult. The vulva may be involved in inherited types of eczema such as atopic where there is no clear cause. Sometimes it can be caused by irritants or allergic reactions, even to things you may not suspect. Importantly, vulval skin often needs a specialised treatment plan compared with eczema elsewhere on the body.

Psoriasis: This is another common skin disease, which not uncommonly affects genital skin in men and women. Again, the look of psoriasis in this area can delay the diagnosis of the rash even in people with a known diagnosis of psoriasis.

Candidiasis: Also known as Vaginal Thrush, Candidiasis affects many women and presents with vaginal discharge often associated with itching of the vulval skin. This problem affects 10-20% of women of childbearing age. It is caused by a yeast infection with Candida. Some women experience recurrent infections.

Lichen Sclerosus & Lichen Planus: These are examples of skin diseases that primarily affect the genital area. They may present with pain, itch, ulceration or whitening of this skin and if left untreated can cause scarring, narrowing of the vagina and sexual difficulties. These diseases require specialist attention for correct diagnosis, treatment and follow-up as there may be a small increased risk of vulval skin cancer in effected women.

Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause: Also known as Vulvovaginal Atrophy, this is common in women after menopause due to hormonal changes leading to thinning of tissues. Symptoms include dryness, burning, painful sex and frequent urinary tract infection. Hormone replacement therapy can help but is not suitable for all women. To address symptoms such as dryness and burning new laser treatments have been developed. Vaginal laser rejuvenation can be performed with minimal discomfort, no downtime and may improve vaginal tone, lubrication and likely enhance your sex life! For advanced cases including scarring and excessive vaginal tightness, surgery may be required and dermatologists often work together with gynaecologists to provide the best outcome for you.

Available treatments

Fortunately, once the correct diagnosis is made many treatment options are available. Often initial treatment includes some sensible advice on establishing a good skin care regime. Then, various medicated creams and ointments can be used, with some cases needing oral medication such as tablets.

To address symptoms such as dryness and burning new laser treatments have been developed. Vaginal laser rejuvenation can be performed with minimal discomfort, no downtime and may improve vaginal tone, lubrication and likely enhance your sex life! If you want to find out more about this treatment, please visit our dedicated rejuvenation website for further information on the various rejuvenation procedures we can offer you.

For advanced cases including scarring and excessive vaginal tightness, surgery may be required and dermatologists often work together with gynaecologists to provide the best outcome for you. We believe that no matter what the problem is, we can give you advice and treatments that will change the quality of your life, for the better. 

What’s the next step?

If you already have an appointment booked at The Skin Specialist Centre, you can easily add this treatment/consultation to your booking by calling our friendly team on (09) 524 5011. If you have never been to The Skin Specialist Centre, you can either give us a call on (09) 524 5011 or make an enquiry by clicking on the Enquire Now option below.

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