Vulvitis is a condition of inflammation of the vulva that can affect women in any age range. Vulva is a skin fold located at the outermost part of the female intimate organs, but is often misunderstood by the layman as the vagina. Though the vagina is a burrow or channel that lies deeper after passing through the vulva. The vulva consists of 2 labia (lips) of majora, 2 labia minora, and clitoris.
The vulva skin is susceptible to irritation because the temperature in the moist and warm moist regions. Girls who have not experienced puberty and postmenopausal women are at high risk of developing this condition. In this age, women tend to have low estrogen levels so that the vulva tissue becomes drier and thinner.
Symptoms of Vulvitis
Vulvitis causes varied symptoms, depending on the cause of inflammation of the vulva. It is advisable not to scratch the genitals when itchy, because the risk of causing irritation develops into an infection.
The symptoms of vulvitis include:
- Very itchy feeling in the genitals, especially at night.
- Whitish .
- The flames are burning and the skin is cracked around the vulva.
- Scaly skin and white areas are thickened in the vulva.
- Swelling and red in the labia and vulva.
- The lump contains a fluid ( blister ) on the vulva.
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Causes of Vulvitis
Inflammation of the vulva can be caused by a number of conditions, such as:
- Infection. Not only the vagina, vulva can also be infected with bacteria, viruses, or fungi. Examples of causes of infection in the vulva are genital herpes l , candida fungus, HPV infection, pubic lice, and scabies.
- Irritation. Some household products can cause irritation, such as toilet paper, bath soap, shampoo, and conditioner containing perfume, deodorant, talcum powder, intimate organ spray, spermicide, and non-cotton underwear. Irritation can also occur after swimming or soaking in public facilities, cycling, and horseback riding.
- Skin disease . Some skin diseases that can affect the health of the vulva, include psoriasis , lichen planus , and lichen sclerosus .
- Estrogen is low. Vulvitis can occur due to low estrogen levels, such as during menopause. Vulvitis that occurs associated with vaginal inflammation due to vagina becomes dry.
- Vulvodynia . A person suffering from vulvodynia will experience discomfort or pain, such as stings or burns, which are chronic in the vaginal and vulvar areas, without any apparent cause.
- Vulvar cancer. Vulvar cancer is rare, and generally affects women over the age of 60. The sign begins with a lump or injury to the vulva.
Diagnosis of Vulvitis
The doctor will examine the patient's pelvis and see signs that indicate vulvitis, such as redness, swelling, fluid-filled lumps ( blisters ), or injuries to the vulva. In addition, the doctor will check the whiteness as a sign of infection.
In addition to asking a medical history and physical examination, the doctor can perform blood tests, urine tests, and pap smear to detect inflammatory or infection causes to the signs of cancer. Sometimes it is necessary to take a sample of skin tissue for examination under a microscope (skin biopsy), if the vulvitis does not improve with the treatment already performed.
Treatment and Prevention of Vulvitis
Treatment of vulvitis depends on the conditions that cause it. If vulvitis is caused by infection, then the use of antibiotics or antifungal drugs into appropriate treatment measures. Doctors can prescribe corticosteroid ointment for use several times a day. This ointment can help reduce the itching and irritation of the vulva. In addition to corticosteroids, emollient cream and antihistamine tablets can also be used to reduce itching.
Doctors can also recommend the use of creams, pessaries, or vaginal tablets that contain estrogen , when vulvitis is caused by low levels of the hormone estrogen. For people with vulvodynia, local anesthetic creams and surgery can also be a form of treatment recommended by doctors.
In addition to the above methods of treatment of vulvitis, the following steps can also be applied to help speed healing while preventing occurrence of vulvitis. Among others are:
- Immediately stop the habit that can cause irritation, such as wearing clothes that are too tight. Instead use a rather loose clothing or cotton to provide air to the sex organs.
- Immediately change wet clothes and panties, either after exercise or swimming.
- Avoid washing intimate organs with soap or a solution containing perfume additives.
- Cleaning the intimate organs once a day with warm water.
- For the selection of contraceptives, avoid using condoms lubricated with spermicides.
Complications of Vulvitis
Well managed vulvitis can be cured. Otherwise, this condition can cause complications. For example, itching of female intimate organs or nighttime pruritus can cause sleep disturbance and reduce quality of life. In addition, anxiety and other psychological disorders can trigger psychosexual disorders.
Examination of the disease underlying the occurrence of vulvitis should be done carefully to produce appropriate treatment. Because not only will complicate the healing process, the cause of undetectable vulvitis can also be fatal, such as vulvar cancer.