Vaginal Rash: causes and how to handle them
A vaginal rash can cause itchiness, redness, swelling of the vulvar area, pain and discomfort, blisters or small bumps, or even small wounds.
It is important to identify the symptoms well and search for proper and adequate medical care in order to tackle whatever reason is causing your vaginal rash.
What can be causing your vaginal rash?
There are many possible causes for that rash. Let’s check them out:
- Contact Dermatitis
Contact dermatitis is an inflammation of the skin that results from contact with some toxin or allergen and often causes vulvar or vaginal rashes. It can, thus, be allergic, if your skin was in contact with something that you’re allergic to (latex, for example) or irritant, if you were exposed to irritants like chemicals found on conventional sanitary pads and other feminine hygiene products.
- Yeast infection
Yeast infections, or fungal infections, are common causes of vaginal rashes. One of the most known yeast infections is candidiasis (commonly called Candida, after the yeast). Vaginal rashes due to yeast infections are often accompanied by a vaginal discharge, intense itch and stinging, prickling or burning sensations.
- Bacterial infection
Bacterial infections, such as bacterial vaginosis, are caused by an imbalance of the bacteria in your vagina. As you know, there’s lots of (good) bacteria inside your vagina that keep it safe and healthy. When the perfect balance of those bacteria is disturbed, bad bacteria can proliferate and cause a bacterial vaginosis which in turn will cause a vaginal rash and vaginal discharge with a foul smell.
Parasitic infections are also a cause of vaginal rash, as well as smelly discharge and sometimes pain during sex or urination. One of the most common genital parasites is Trichomonas vaginalis, which causes trichomoniasis. Like many genital parasites, trichomoniasis is sexually transmitted. Other examples of parasitic infections that causes vaginal rash is pubic lice and scabies.
Sexually Transmitted Disorders, STDs, in general can cause vulvar or vaginal rashes, bad smelling vaginal discharge, pain and discomfort and, if untreated, may lead to more serious symptoms or diseases. Examples are genital warts, syphilis or genital herpes.
How to treat and prevent a vaginal rash?
If you are having a rash on your vulva or vagina, please go seek professional help – a doctor, a nurse practitioner or other health professional in your area of residence.
Sometimes, fungal and bacterial infections can be caused by taking other medications (such as antibiotics), so inform your gynaecologist about all the medications you were prescribed. Do not attempt home remedies – let professionals take a look at it and follow their advice.
For prevention, check the next boxes:
- Practice safe sex, always;
- Do not douche – douching can make your vagina vulnerable to infections and thus vulvar and vaginal rashes;
- Do not wear tight clothes or underwear – especially if synthetic;
- Use breathable underwear and made of natural fibres like cotton;
- Switch to natural feminine hygiene products, with no fragrances or colorants;
- Do not overwash– remember your vagina has a self-cleaning mechanism, so a normal hygiene is enough to keep you healthy;
- Do not keep wet bathing suits and bikinis for long – moisture and heat are not friends to your vagina!
- Sweaty or dirty clothes – like gym wear – shouldn’t be used for long after your work out;
- If you use an intimate soap, consult with your GP or gynaecologist – they will let you know if that product is good for you or not.
As always, take good care!