Vaginal Rashes and Sores
A rash in your vaginal area (Reference vulva Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window) may be caused by Reference irritation of the skin from many sources, such as clothes rubbing against the skin. Rashes that occur without other symptoms are usually minor and often go away with home treatment.
A common cause of a rash is contact with a substance that causes irritation or an allergic reaction (Reference contact dermatitis Opens New Window). Soaps, detergents, shampoos, perfumes, or lotions can cause contact dermatitis. Often the rash from contact dermatitis is very itchy, but it is rarely serious. Changing your soap or detergent may be all you need to do to prevent this type of rash.
Other rashes in the vaginal area
Other conditions that may cause a rash in the vaginal area include:
- Reference Scabies Opens New Window, which is an itchy skin condition caused by tiny mites that burrow into the outer layers of the skin.
- Reference Pubic lice Opens New Window, which are small insects that live on humans and survive by feeding on blood.
- Reference Yeast infection (cutaneous candidiasis), which may cause a rash in the moist skin folds of the vaginal area.
- Reference Psoriasis Opens New Window, which causes raised red or white patches topped with silvery, scaling skin. The patches are most common on the knees, elbows, scalp, tailbone, and back, but may appear anywhere on the body (including the fingernails, palms, and soles of the feet).
Sores, blisters, or lumps in the vaginal area
Conditions that may cause a sore, blister, or lump include:
- Reference Genital herpes Opens New Window. Genital herpes is a viral infection that causes skin blisters and sores in the vaginal area.
- Reference Genital warts Opens New Window. Genital warts are a sexually transmitted infection (STI). They are caused by various types of human papillomavirus (HPV).
- Reference Bartholin gland cyst Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window. Bartholin glands are two small glands located on each side of the opening of the vagina. These glands produce fluids that lubricate the opening to the vagina. If the opening to one of the glands becomes blocked, fluids may build up inside the gland, causing a painless lump called a Bartholin cyst. Bartholin cysts usually do not need treatment, but sometimes surgery may be needed to drain them. In some cases, one of the glands may become infected, causing an abscess, which may need to be drained.
- Reference Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) Opens New Window. Sores, blisters, or ulcers, especially in the groin or vaginal area, may be the first symptom of several different STIs.
- An infected hair shaft (Reference folliculitis Opens New Window). A red, tender lump may form when skin bacteria cause an infection at the base of a hair shaft.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference September 6, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Reference H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine