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Have open sores on mons pubis with dryness around vagina. Could it be vaginitis?

Mar 2013
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Practicing since : 1998
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Hi, I have open sores on my mons pubis. They are not sore, they do not hurt, they have just appeared. The skin around my vagina is also extremely dry and chaffed, and I have even had cuts in the creases. Help please is it possible that I could have a bad case of Vaginitis, because I have been to the doctor for the cracks and dryness before, there I was tested and nothing was found. Could It have been to soon? They even did a culture on the cuts
Posted Sat, 2 Feb 2013 in Vaginal and Uterus Health
Answered by Dr. Aarti Abraham 1 hour later
Thanks for writing to us.

There are many causes of sores on the vulva, and they should be thoroughly evaluated by a Gynecologist.

These sores are often caused by sexually transmitted diseases.
A chancroid, caused by a bacterial infection, causes painful sores, that are soft and with a clear defined border. It might be accompanied by swollen lymph nodes also.

Genital syphilis is a leading cause of vulval ulceration.

Genital herpes too causes sores on the vulva, but they are extremely painful. They can be diagnosed by appropriate tests done from culturing the sores.

Molluscum contagiosum causes papules on the vulva, which might ulcerate and cause sores if inflamed . These are easily diagnosed by examination, and biopsy.

Atopic dermatitis is caused by allergy to certain fabrics, chemicals, extremely hot or cold showers etc. It is invariably accompanied by itching, though, and might cause the kind of dryness you describe in surrounding skin.

Vaginal yeast infection could cause the extreme dryness and the cuts as well as the sores, but you mentioned that you have been tested for the same earlier.

Rare diseases like Crohn's disease often presents with a similar picture

Many chronic skin conditions like lichen etc cause eczema of the skin, which over time, can ulcerate openly.

You need to visit your Gynecologist again, after the appearance of these sores. You need a thorough bodily check up, examination of neck and breast, examination of lymph nodes, thorough examination of the sores, appropriate cultures and blood tests and then treatment as indicated.

Till then I can provide a few pointers to ease your discomfort :

Do not use fabric softener / harsh detergents for washing your undergarments. If you use a shared washer or dryer, such as a laundromat, you must hand wash and line dry your underwear, towels, and any other clothing that comes in contact with your vulva. .
Wear allergen free cotton underwear, not nylon or lycra etc.
Do not keep the area wet and moist for long.
Do not use bath soaps, lotions, gels, etc, which contain perfumes.
Do not use soap directly on the vulvar skin. Use warm water and mild lather.
Do not scrub / XXXXXXX dry vigorously / douche your private parts.
Use white, unscented, simple toilet paper.
Avoid use of tampons for the time being, unless bleeding is quite heavy. Use sanitary pads with a cotton liner.
Avoid using hair removal products till the inflammation subsides. You might want to trim the vulval hair.
Avoid Lubricated/latex condoms, contraceptive jellies, creams, or sponges which may cause itching and burning.

Take care and feel free to ask for further clarifications.
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