Vulval skin conditions
The skin in this area is susceptible to common conditions seen elsewhere, including eczema and psoriasis. Other common conditions include lichen sclerosis et atrophicus and vulvovaginal atrophy due to lack of oestrogen. This commonly occurs during and after the menopause, but can also be a problem following childbirth, especially if breast feeding.
TOP 5 HEALTH TIPS
- Avoid using bubble bath and try adding a few drops of lavender oil instead.
- Apply a fragrance-free emollient to the skin after showering or bathing.
- Avoid scented or coloured toilet paper.
- Avoid biological washing powders.
- Always use a soap substitute for vulval hygiene or wash with water alone.
Investigations may be required to make a diagnosis, although many conditions can be diagnosed by their appearance alone.
- Skin biopsy
A small sample of skin is taken from the affected area and sent for testing to support a diagnosis. This can be achieved under local anaesthetic in the clinic or alternatively under general anaesthetic.
- Swab testing
Swab tests can be undertaken to check for infections.
- Skin patch tests
Skin patch tests are used to locate a potential source of allergy. Patches are applied to the skin on your back and you then return to the clinic 48 hours later to assess the results.
These problems can cause unnecessary interference with everyday life as well.
Dr Briggs is an expert in investigating and treating the cause of any of the problems listed here.