The vulva refers to the visible parts of the external female genitalia. Many acute and chronic conditions that can affect the vulva have a presentation that is unique to this area. In addition, the vulva is an area of the body that is not well understood, both by women and many healthcare professionals. Our providers have extensive experience in diagnosing and treating vulvar disorders and are happy to answer any questions you may have.
Frequently, we think of dermatologic conditions as only occurring on the face, hands, truck, and extremities of the body but any condition that affects the skin on the rest of the body can affect the vulva as well. Irritation from garments or detergents, psoriasis, and less common conditions like lichen simplex chronicus, lichen sclerosus, and vulvodynia can greatly impact comfort and quality of life. The vulva is also susceptible to common infections such as candidiasis (yeast), HPV, and herpes.
Common vulvar conditions that our providers treat include:
- Acute and chronic yeast infections
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Lichen sclerosus
- Lichen simplex chronicus
- Lichen planus
- Contact dermatitis
Because there are so many different types of conditions that can affect the vulva, symptoms vary widely. Symptoms can include itching, burning, redness, swelling, ulcers or lesions, acute or chronic pain, and skin changes. Vulvar symptoms can also be indicative of other underlying conditions such as diabetes or sexually transmitted infections. Please call our office if you develop any of these symptoms to be evaluated by one of our providers.
Treatment Options for Vulvar Disorders
The type of condition you have will determine the treatment that is recommended to you. Antibiotics, steroids, hormonal therapies, oral or topical medications, and pelvic floor therapy can successfully alleviate symptoms, conditions, and infections.