What does vulvar eczema look like?

Eczema around your vagina, called vulvar dermatitis, happens when the soft folds of skin around your vagina become painful, red, and itchy. It causes thin cracks, red patches, vaginal weeping, and crust formation. This condition is treatable with medication and home treatments.

Vulvar dermatitis is a common condition that causes irritated, red, and itchy skin around the vagina. It can be caused by excessive heat and moisture or products that can directly irritate the skin or trigger an allergy.

If your doctor finds that you have eczema on your vulva, they’ll suggest the next steps for treatment. It’s best to go with your doctor’s recommendations rather than over-the-counter methods since these might have additional allergens or irritants in them.

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Most cases of vulvar dermatitis can be self-managed if you start treatment early. Even so, some cases are harder to treat and may respond better to prescription medications.

The home treatment plan may involve some or all of the following measures:

Learn more about vulvar dermatitis, including the causes and symptoms, and how the condition can be treated and prevented. It also describes when it is time to see a healthcare provider.

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Then, your doctor will do an exam of the skin around your vagina. They’ll look for skin changes such as cracking, thickening, redness, or scaling. They may also test a sample of your vaginal discharge to rule out infection.

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Diagnosis and Treatment of Vulvar Dermatitis

Dermatitis can affect any area of skin but frequently affects areas where there is persistent heat and moisture, such as under the breasts, in the armpits, and around the groin area.

Though allergic and irritant contact dermatitis have similar symptoms, one involves IgE and the other doesn’t. For this reason, people with irritant contact dermatitis may be less responsive to antihistamines used to treat allergic contact dermatitis.

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If you think you may have vulvar dermatitis, schedule an appointment with your doctor. During your visit, they’ll ask you about your symptoms, if you have a history of eczema, any allergies you have, what your vulvar cleaning habits are, and what products you use around your vagina.

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Symptoms of Vulvar Dermatitis

Vulvar dermatitis occurs when the folds of skin around the vagina become inflamed and irritated. The inflammation is sometimes called vulvitis .

Common triggers for contact dermatitis of the vulva include:

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Causes of Vulvar Dermatitis

Vulvar dermatitis can often be treated at home with gentle skincare, moisturizers, and OTC medications that reduce itching, inflammation, and allergy symptoms. You can better avoid getting vulvar dermatitis by keeping the skin dry and clean, avoiding irritants and fragranced products, and wearing loose-fitting cotton clothes.

You may notice symptoms of eczema around your vagina suddenly or more gradually as they get worse over time. Warning signs include:

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