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is simply an inflammation of the vulva, the soft folds of skin outside the vagina. This is not a condition but rather a symptom that results from a

host of diseases, infections, injuries, allergies, and

other irritants. Diagnosing and treating this condition can be frustrating because it is often difficult to determine the specific cause of the irritation.

Several factors may contribute to the development of vulvitis:

Oral sex. Scented or colored toilet tissue. Bacterial or fungal infection. Hot tubs and swimming pools.

Horseback riding. Leaving a wet swimming suit on for a long period. Bicycle riding. Allergic reactions to products such as:

soaps, shampoos, bubble baths, powders, deodorants, sanitary napkins, non-cotton underwear, pantyhose, vaginal douches,

topical medications


Diabetic women face increased risk of developing vulvitis because the high sugar content of their cells increases susceptibility to infections. As estrogen levels drop during perimenopause, vulvar tissues become thinner, drier, and less elastic increasing a woman's chance of developing vulvitis, or other infections such as vaginitis. Young girls who have not yet reached puberty are also at possible risk due to the fact that adequate hormone levels have not yet been reached. Any woman who is allergy-prone, has sensitive skin, or who has other infections or diseases can develop vulvitis.


redness and swelling on the labia and other parts of the vulva excruciating itching clear, fluid-filled blisters (present when the vulva is particularly irritated) sore, scaly, thickened, or whitish patches (more prevalent in chronic vulvitis) on the vulva The symptoms of vulvitis may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.

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In addition to a complete medical history and physical and pelvic examination, diagnostic procedures for vulvitis may include the following: blood tests urinalysis tests for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) Pap test

Specific treatment for vulvitis will be determined by your physician based on: 1. your age, overall health, and medical history severity of the symptoms cause of the condition 1. your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies 2. expectations for the course of the condition 3. your opinion or preference

It's important for women with these symptoms to remember not to scratch as this can lead to further irritation and/or infection. Although it may seem like a good idea to wash repeatedly over the day, the fact is that over washing the affected area can lead to further irritation. It's best to wash just once a day with warm water only when symptoms of vulvitis are present

Several diagnostic tools such as blood tests, urinalysis, testing for sexually transmitted

diseases (STDs), and Pap smears help your

doctor diagnose vulvitis.

vulvitis varies according to cause. Your clinician will consider several factors before determining which treatment is the right one. Some factors your clinician will consider include:

Your age, general health, and medical history.

The cause of your symptoms.

The specific symptoms you are experiencing.

The severity of your symptoms.

How well you tolerate certain medications,

procedures, or therapies.

Once these factors are considered, several methods of

treatment are available including both self-help

measures, and prescribed medications. Low-dose hydrocortisone creams may be prescribed for short periods. Anti-fungal creams are sometimes helpful for treatment of vulvitis. Post menopausal women

may find topical estrogen relieves their symptoms.

Self-help treatments include:

Baths containing soothing compounds such as Aveeno baths or comfrey tea baths. Stopping the use of any products that may be a contributing factor. The vulva should be kept clean, dry, and cool. Always remember to wipe from front to back. Hot boric acid compresses. Cold compresses filled with plain yogurt or cottage cheese help ease itching and irritation.

Calamine lotion. Using sterile, non-irritating personal lubricants such as K-Y Jelly, or Astroglide during sexual activity. Learning to reduce stress. Eating an adequate and nutritious diet. Making sure you get enough sleep at night.

self-help measures (i.e., avoiding external irritants known to provoke vulvitis) sitz baths with soothing compounds (to help control the itching) hydrocortisone creams

Things you can do to help prevent vulvitis include wearing white cotton panties, practicing good hygiene, and avoiding vaginal douches. Vaginal sprays and powders should also be avoided, as should tight pants. Unless you're in a long-term monogamous relationship, always use condoms during sexual activities to reduce your risk of vulvitis, STDs, and other vaginal infections

vulvitis II Genorrhea

Herpes Vulvitis

Allergic vulvitis

Gonococcal Vulvitis