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How are scales on vaginal labia treated ?

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Practicing since : 2002
Answered : 2565 Questions
I found scales on my labia minora. I pulled them off though I can't tell if they are skin or not. I'm under the impression they aren't because it did not hurt, but I have never noticed them before. I thought it thought it may have been dried discharge, I washed myself, and still needed to pull them off. No pain, or other skin came with the "scales"
Posted Sun, 6 May 2012 in Vaginal and Uterus Health
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 1 hour later

Thanks for your query.

It's not entirely uncommon to have some intermittent skin changes in the area of the labia majora from time to time. In considering your case specifically I'd like to know a couple of things from you.

First - Are the scales painful or do they cause bleeding when removed? Is there any itching associated with the?

Are you concerned about any recent STD exposure? Have you had normal annual pap smears done in the past?

I am inclined to think the scales are quite benign and not worrisome. I await your reply for now and we will focus our understanding on the additional information you provide.

Best regards,

Dr. Robert Galamaga
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: How are scales on vaginal labia treated ? 1 hour later
I am worried about std exposure, and was refused when I asked for a pap because I'm 20, not 21, and go to planned parenthood. the pelvic exam was normal. The partners which I had unprotected sex with were showing no visible symptoms of stds, and claimed they had none(of course). I have also been having to feel as if I need to pee really bad, though my bladder is no where near full, maybe only 10cc's of urine excrete. I'm not sure if the two are related. I do have occasional darker discharge, murky, which may be the remnant of my period, as I do have the Mirena IUD. No pain or bleeding was associated with the scales or flakes. Only on occasion will I have pain during or after sex, which I believe is from the friction, though I'm worried all of these are symptoms of an std which I am pretending are all from something else. I have no lesions or sores, only the occasional ingrown hair. No constant odor, itching, or otherwise. Only the every once in a while BV, and itching from hair regrowth. I can't afford a comprehensive std test at the moment, but I understand I should as soon as possible. Am I just a product of letting internet statistics scare me, or are these symptoms characteristic of something?
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 14 hours later

I understand you are worried about the symptoms you are having and I'll try to provide you with some more information and reassurance. Honestly, aside from an STD, the symptoms you report of having increased urge to urinate without really having a full bladder is more suspicious for a simple urinary tract infection. These are very easily treated with inexpensive antibiotics. I would suggest you look into a XXXXXXX care organization in your area where you could perhaps obtain care free of charge.

Your local health department or planned parenthood should also be able to provide you with free screening for HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia as well as herpes. I think the more you read regarding symptoms, the more anxiety you may have regarding this and there will be no substitute for the peace of mind that a comprehensive screening evaluation can offer in this setting. This will provide you with clear information.

To reiterate. 1) I think you have symptoms suspicious for a UTI and you should br treated with an antibiotic 2) I don't think you have classic STD symptoms but I think you should rule it out by pursuing some testing - try an internet search and look up the local health department in your county. They provide free, confidential testing I am sure.

I really hope I have given you some helpful information here and I thank you again for your query.


Dr. Galamaga
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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