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Getting cracks in skin around labia. What is the required treatment?

Mar 2013
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Practicing since : 1998
Answered : 5647 Questions
Am getting paper cut type tears on the skin outside and around my labia. What is the treatment?
Posted Sun, 17 Mar 2013 in Vaginal and Uterus Health
Answered by Dr. Aarti Abraham 14 minutes later
Thank you for your query.

Fissures can be defined in medical terms as cracks or breaks in the skin. Fissures generally develop on the mucus membrane of the skin. Vaginal fissures are genital fissures that develop in the delicate lining of the vagina. Abrasions or tears in the vaginal lining are very common as this area is especially sensitive to a number of factors. Vaginal fissuring can occur on the labia and the surrounding areas (internal and external vaginal fissures). If you do not seek treatment, the fissures can turn into ulcers or sores that can get infected and become very painful. I think the paper cut type tears you are describing are fissures, however only an examination ( looking and palpating them ) would confirm the diagnosis.

Unfortunately, vaginal fissures can affect any woman irrespective of age or fitness levels. Poor health or an active sex life are not the only possible causes. Some of the main causes of vaginal fissuring include:

Vigorous sexual activity / masturbation and resultant trauma
Lack of personal hygiene
Excessive douching or vigorous cleansing / rubbing of the genital area
Physical injury - shaving / waxing / razors etc.
Following a vaginal delivery
Scratching with long nails
Sexual intercourse without proper lubrication
Friction caused by latex condoms
Unusual sexual activities
Infections in the vaginal area. Studies show that recurring yeast infections such as candidasis can lead to fissures
Thin vaginal tissue / mucosa- Hormonal changes and low levels of estrogen that affect the blood flow to the genital area and keep the skin elastic and healthy
Menopause, along with low levels of estrogen, increases the occurrence of bacterial infections in the vagina and causes the area to become irritated and dry. Certain phases in the menstrual cycle also cause such hormonal changes.
Certain medications such as Tamoxifen, Danazol, Medroxyprogesterone, Leuprolide, and Nafarelin as well as certain birth control pills can lower levels of estrogen
Excessive alcohol consumption and smoking can also contribute towards a weak immune system and higher incidence of infections
Stress and an unhealthy diet can lead to hormonal imbalances and recurring abrasions and fissures in the vagina

In most cases, abrasions or fissures tend to heal themselves if left untreated. However, you need to see a gynecologist if they are painful / multiple / recurrent. Depending on the diagnosis, your doctorn will prescribe the necessary medications to fight an infection (anti-fungal creams or vaginal suppositories), to increase levels of vaginal lubrication (cortisone cream and lubricating creams) or to increase estrogen levels (hormone creams or pills).

Apply coconut oil to the affected areas of the skin. Coconut oil helps heal any cuts and abrasions and reduces the pain and discomfort.

Sitz baths with diluted hydrogen peroxide added to the water work in the same way and speed up the healing process.

If you have been on antibiotics, it is important to increase the levels of friendly bacteria in the body in order to fight further infections. You can do this by eating yogurt and other dairy products XXXXXXX in active bacteria (lactobacillus).

Eat a balanced diet that is XXXXXXX in fresh fruits, vegetables and fiber.
Exercise regularly to maintain your body weight and prevent other illnesses.
Reduce stress by practicing yoga, meditation and XXXXXXX breathing exercises.

Wear clothes that are made of natural fibers and that ‘breathe’, as tight garments (especially underwear) made of synthetic materials can increase infections, scratching and lead to XXXXXXX vaginal cuts.
If you swim regularly, make sure that you do not sit around in a wet swimsuit the whole day as this can increase the levels of moisture around the vaginal area and cause infections.
Use lubricated condoms during intercourse to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and abrasions, and to reduce vaginal dryness.
Refrain from douching. The vagina is equipped for self-cleaning and douching only disturbs the natural process and causes an imbalance of good and bad bacteria. This in turn can lead to recurring infections and dryness.
Stop smoking as it not only increases vaginal dryness and tearing near the urinary area but also slows down the healing process
Stop using tampons, scented pads or toilet paper if you are prone to infections and fissures on the labia.
Refrain from any sexual activity until the area is completely healed

Hope this was of help
take care and feel free to ask for further clarifications.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Getting cracks in skin around labia. What is the required treatment? 1 hour later
"necessary medications to fight an infection (anti-fungal creams or vaginal suppositories), to increase levels of vaginal lubrication (cortisone cream and lubricating creams) or to increase estrogen levels (hormone creams or pills). "

This is the first time that I have had them. With reference to the text quoted above from your answer, can you give me the names of the above mentioned medicines
Answered by Dr. Aarti Abraham 25 minutes later
As I said with reference to above quoted text - an important part is - as per your diagnosis.
Before prescribing any medication, it is necessary to know the reason for the fissures.
If it is infective - antifungal creams like Clotrimazole cream will help, or Candid - CL vaginal suppositories.
If it is due to dryness, lubricants like Vagisil and Onabet ( hydrocortisone cream ) will help.
If it is hormonal, creams like Evalon will help.
That is why I urged you to consult a gynecologist first.
If you cannot do that urgently, try using Onabet B cream for the time being.
A word of caution though - in absence of diagnosis, a medication might misfire.
Also get your blood sugar levels checked.
And you and your partner should get complete testing for sexually transmitted diseases.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Getting cracks in skin around labia. What is the required treatment? 7 hours later
I am sure that it is not any kind of STD as both my husband and I have been in a monogamous relationship from the beginning and there have been no other partners ever.
I shall XXXXXXX a doctor as soon as I can. In the meantime I shall get the cream. Is there any oral medicine that I can take? And or any foods that I need to avoid.
I also suffer from piles every now and then. Please advise medication for that too.
Thank you.
Answered by Dr. Aarti Abraham 11 minutes later
I think the local cream is enough.
You should increase intake of nutritious food like XXXXXXX leafy vegetables and fresh fruits and lots of fluids.
Avoid oily greasy spicy food with excess of sugar or salt.
Piles generally are a result of constipation.
Increase fluid and fibre intake, and you can use Pilorute cream locally and also take hot Sitz baths.
Take care
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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