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What causes black spots on the labia ?

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Posted on Mon, 30 Apr 2012
Question: I just had a baby 10 weeks ago and just noticed several small black spots in my labia. They are not raised but I've had itching lately. What could this be?
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Answered by Dr. Jasvinder Singh (20 minutes later)
Hello XXXXXXX
Thanks for posting your query.

Since the small black spots on labia are itchy, a few possibilities which need to be ruled out are:

1)     Contact dermatitis occurring to underwears, perfumed toiletries, soaps, detergents, feminine hygiene sprays or deodorant pads.

2)     Small warts caused by HPV. The warts appear on the vulva as raised and sometimes small brown/ black patches that may hurt or itch.

3)     Fungal infection causing itchy small flat spots on the vulva.

4)     Angiokeratomas ( less likely) are blue-to-red papules with a scaly surface located on the vulva.

I suggest you to follow up with your gynecologist as you need antimicrobials like metronidazole or tinidazole which are available by prescription if it is found to be a fungal infection. You may also need antihistaminics for the allergy and topical steroids.

Till that time, follow these simple lifestyle measures:

1)      Avoid rough intercourse and use a water based lubricant during intercourse.
2)     Wear cotton underwear and avoid douching or using feminine products.
3)     Avoid using perfumed soaps and sanitary napkins, bubble baths and toiletries.
4)     Change underwear daily, wash underwear in hot water and double rinse (to remove any irritating detergent) and take adequate nutrition and sleep.

Hope this answers your query. If you have additional questions or follow up queries then please do not hesitate in writing to us. I will be happy to answer your queries.

Wishing you good health.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Radhika
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Follow up: Dr. Jasvinder Singh (2 hours later)
Since these are small, flat, and clustered together what is the chance it could be melanoma? Also, since I'm in a committed 6 year marriage and the spots are flat wouldn't that exclude the HPV virus? Thank you.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Jasvinder Singh (8 hours later)
Hello,

Thanks for writing back.

They are least likely to be due to melanoma. Melanomas are usually >6 mm in size, with irregular borders, asymmetrical and dark in color and increasing in size.

Yes, it is true that chances of HPV are more when you have unprotected intercourse with a person having HPV infection. But they can be flat also initially. However if you and your partner are in a committed marriage, then it is less likely to be due to warts.

For these black spots, contact dermatitis and other possibilities which have mentioned above need to be ruled out. Most likely it is due to contact dermatitis; but it is important to rule out any fungal infection by means of getting KOH examination of the skin scrapings done.

Hope this answers your query. If you have additional questions or follow up queries then please do not hesitate in writing to us. I will be happy to answer your queries.

Wishing you good health.

Regards

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Jasvinder Singh

Internal Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :1998

Answered : 1578 Questions

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What causes black spots on the labia ?

Hello XXXXXXX
Thanks for posting your query.

Since the small black spots on labia are itchy, a few possibilities which need to be ruled out are:

1)     Contact dermatitis occurring to underwears, perfumed toiletries, soaps, detergents, feminine hygiene sprays or deodorant pads.

2)     Small warts caused by HPV. The warts appear on the vulva as raised and sometimes small brown/ black patches that may hurt or itch.

3)     Fungal infection causing itchy small flat spots on the vulva.

4)     Angiokeratomas ( less likely) are blue-to-red papules with a scaly surface located on the vulva.

I suggest you to follow up with your gynecologist as you need antimicrobials like metronidazole or tinidazole which are available by prescription if it is found to be a fungal infection. You may also need antihistaminics for the allergy and topical steroids.

Till that time, follow these simple lifestyle measures:

1)      Avoid rough intercourse and use a water based lubricant during intercourse.
2)     Wear cotton underwear and avoid douching or using feminine products.
3)     Avoid using perfumed soaps and sanitary napkins, bubble baths and toiletries.
4)     Change underwear daily, wash underwear in hot water and double rinse (to remove any irritating detergent) and take adequate nutrition and sleep.

Hope this answers your query. If you have additional questions or follow up queries then please do not hesitate in writing to us. I will be happy to answer your queries.

Wishing you good health.