Vulvar Ulcers, Causes, Diagnosis, Pictures, Treatment

Vulvar ulcers in most cases is a sign and symptom of and underlying health problem. Ulcer is the discontinuity of skin or mucus membrane that ends up exposing the underlying tissues and form sore lesions. However the ulcers can also be caused by trauma to the skin that covers the vulvar. Women need to take good care of their vagina since it is very delicate and sensitive. Below are some causes of vulvar ulceration, sores, how to get rid, treat and cure them fast at home.

Ulcer on inner labia

The inner labia or labia minora is a very sensitive part of the vulvar that is covered with tender skin and mucus membrane. Ulcers on the inner labia are mostly caused by a bacterial vaginal infection known as chancroid.It is can be treated using antibiotics.Aphthous ulcers occur on the mucous lining of the inner labia. They are very painful lesions.

vulvar ulcers
vulvar ulcers

Ulcer on outer labia

The outer labia or labia major are the most common location of ulcers lesions that affect the vulvar. Most of the sexually transmitted disease and other causes of ulcers affect the labia majora and the skin surrounding the vulvar. They have been discussed in details below.

Causes of ulcers on vagina, vulvar, labia

The vagina is a very sensitive organ. The skin covering the vulvar is very delicate. The inner part of the vulvar is soft, tender and covered in mucus membrane.

According to DoveMed , “Any individual, irrespective of age, gender, region, race or ethnicity maybe affected by genital ulcer sores. “ The following are the common reasons for ulcers on the vulvar.

1. STD

Sexually transmitted Diseases spread via having unprotected sex with an infected person. Vulvar Ulcers is caused by sexually transmitted diseases like Herpes simplex Virus (Herpes type 2), syphilis and chancroid.

2. HIV

HIV weakens the immune system and subjects your body to all sorts of vaginal infections. People with HIV develop sores on their genital areas as one of the many symptoms associated with HIV.

3. Yeast infection

Yeast infection is caused by overgrowth of natural yeast in the vagina when the pH is tampered with. Simple yeast infection may not cause ulcers but complicated yeast infection causes vulvar ulcer, redness, itchy and swollen vulvar.

4. Lupus

Discoid lupus causes skin lesions that are red, scaly and thick. They can scab with time and cause discoloration of the skin.

5. Rough sex

Having rough sex may traumatize your vagina. You can get cut down there and get sores which get worse if they get infected by a bacteria. Do not get used to having rough sex.

6. Dry sex

Not every woman gets to lubricate their vagina well enough when sexually aroused. Hormonal imbalance may also make the vagina dry. Dry sex will make you get bruised and get sores down there. Ensure you use sex lubricants if you have a dry vagina. Try using a natural lubricant like olive or almond oil.

7. Latex allergy

Allergy to latex causes itchy, irritation and burning sensation on your vagina. Your vagina will feel sore as soon as you have sex with latex condom.

8. Tight pants OR G-strings

Tight pants or G-strings come into close constant with the skin of your vagina and creates friction while you are walking. This friction will cuts your tender vaginal skin and make you have shallow ulcer sores on your vulvar or on the vaginal lips. The tight pants also don’t allow free circulation of air down there.

9. Sanitary pads

Wearing sanitary pads for more than 4 hours keep you dump and provide a ground for harmful organisms to thrive and cause infection. Pad rash makes the skin covering your vulvar to chaff and become sore.

10. HPV

Human Papilloma Virus is a disease that can be contracted through skin contact during sexual intercourse. It causes genital warts which occur on the vulvar outside the vagina. The warts can be large, small flat or shaped like cauliflower. It can keep spreading if not contained.

11. Psoriasis

Psoriasis is characterized by vulvar ulcer that is red and smooth. They result from trauma to the vagina or reaction to some medicine. They may get infected by bacteria if not treated with care and kept clean. Related genital ulcers can involve the vulvar and present themselves as red, smooth lesions.

12. Herpes

Herpes simplex virus infection (HSV2) is the leading cause of genital ulcer both on and around the vagina.

vulvar ulcers
vulvar ulcers

Vulvar ulcers diagnosis

If you are not sure of what is causing your vulvar ulcer especially if you have been practicing unprotected sex then you need to visit your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Vulvar ulcers diagnosis should be done by a professional doctor (gynecologist).A gynecologist will be able to determine the cause of your vulvar ulcer by evaluating you on your lifestyle, medical or sexual life history.

Some physical and lab examinations will also be conducted especially if your doctor suspects that the vulvar ulcers have been caused by a sexually transmitted disease or infection. Blood test can be conducted in the lab to diagnose, herpes, HIV, syphilis among other diseases. Psoriasis and genital warts are diagnosed by physical examination

If the vulvar ulcer keeps coming back then your doctor will perform a biopsy. This involves performing a laboratory examination on a sample of the ulcer that is obtained from the skin tissue. Biopsy is done under a microscope. Your doctor will be able to pick the best treatment method for you.

Acute vulvar ulcers

Acute vulvar ulcers are very painful and they are not caused by sexual activities. They affect the inner soft part of the vulvar that is covered by mucus membrane. These ulcers are usually deep and have a yellow puss or fluid filled center with a red ring around them.  There are two type of such ulcers namely; acute reactive aphthous ulceration and acute recurrent aphthous ulceration.

Active reactive aphthous ulceration is super painful and may prevent you from urinating comfortably. Enlargement of lymph nodes is also common with this condition. The only good news is that reactive ulcers do not keep coming back once treated.

They are caused by serious illness like severe diarrhea, tonsillitis or respiratory infection. The patient needs prompt medical attention.

Unfortunately, acute recurrent aphthous ulceration unlike the reactive ones keeps recurring. This is where they get their get their name from. They are mostly triggered by a virus known as Epstein-Barr. Their onset mostly takes place just before monthly periods in women.

Vulvar ulcers home remedies

Home remedies are important for controlling and healing vulvar ulcer that are caused by trauma and do not need serious medical attention. The following are remedies and directions on how to use them.

1. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar will kill bacteria and prevent secondary infection the vulvar ulcer. It balances the pH of the vagina .It also has a smoothing effect on the itchy sore lesions.

Requirements

  1. Apple cider vinegar
  2. A cup
  3. Clean Water

What to do

  1. Mix apple cider vinegar and water in the ration of 1:10 in a cup
  2. Use it to rinse your vagina
  3. Do this twice a day
  4. You can also soak your body in water mixed with apple cider vinegar

2. Baking Soda

Baking soda is alkaline in nature and will balance the pH of the vagina. It also soothes the itchy feeling caused by vulvar ulcers.

Requirements

  1. Baking soda
  2. Water
  3. A clean towel
  4. A Cotton ball

What to do

  1. Take a shower and wash the skin around your vagina area thoroughly
  2. Add 3 tablespoons of baking soda to half a cup
  3. Add a few drop of water and mix to form a thick paste
  4. Use a cotton ball to apply the paste on the vulvar ulcers
  5. Let it settle until it dries up
  6. Wash off the affected area using cold water
  7. Dry the affected area using a clean towel. Fungal infections thrive on damp environments so ensure you keep your genital are dry all the time.

3. Carrot Juice

Carrots are rich in vitamins that boost your immune system. It will detoxify your body and increase your chances of recovering quickly.

Requirements

  1. Carrots
  2. Clean water
  3. Blender
  4. Honey

What to do

  1. Wash the bark of 6 carrots .Peel off the bark and dice the carrots into cubes.
  2. Put the cubes in the blender, add some clean distilled water and blend the carrots into juice.
  3. Add honey to sweeten
  4. Drink two cups of this juice everyday

4. Garlic Oil

Garlic has got antibacterial and antifungal properties. These wonderful properties make garlic an ideal agent for getting rid of most bacterial and yeast infections that cause vulvar ulcers.

You should use garlic consistently for effective results. It is an effective remedy for ulcers that appear on the inner labia or labia minora and outer labia or labia majora.

Requirements

  1. Garlic cloves
  2. A Pestle & a mortar
  3. A Knife
  4. Olive oil
  5. Clean water
  6. Sieve
  7. A clean piece of cloth

What to do

  1. Peel off the back cover of garlic cloves
  2. Dice them into cubes using a knife
  3. Place them in the mortar
  4. Pound with a pestle to form a paste
  5. Add the paste to some olive oil in a tin with a lid.
  6. Let it stay overnight
  7. Sieve the oil so that you obtain garlic oil.
  8. Wash the affected area on your vagina with clean running water and pat it dry with a clean piece of cloth. You may take a shower if you wish.
  9. Apply the garlic oil on the ulcers
  10. Let it settle for 10 minutes
  11. Rinse it off with warm water then do a final rinse with cold water
  12. Dry up your skin using a clean piece of cloth
  13. Repeat this process twice a day until you observe a significant change. You observe a significant change.

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Vulvar ulcers treatment

Effective treatment of vulvar ulcer is only possible after a proper diagnosis has been done. You should seek medical care whenever you have painful a painful vulvar ulcer.

If you have been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease like herpes then your sex partner also needs to be treated or else you will be doing zero work if you keep having unprotected sex after treatment with the same person.

According to Mayo Clinic, “Genital herpes can cause pain, itching and sores in your genital area. But you may have no signs or symptoms of genital herpes. If infected, you can be contagious even if you have no visible sores.

Your doctor will prescribe antibiotics for most sexually transmitted disease. You are advised to finish the dosage even if the ulcers disappear before you are done with your dosage.

HPV is caused by a virus hence there is no permanent cure but the symptoms can be controlled and contained and prevent the virus from spreading to your partner.

Recurrent acute vulvar ulcers Infections that keep coming back after a short period of time like less than half a year are treated using acyclovir. Acute vulvar ulcer can also be treated using Intralesional steroid injections, topical anesthetic ointment or corticosteroid ointments.

Painkillers can be used to relieve the acute pain while antibiotics apply in case of a bacterial infection. Continuous use of some drugs like doxycycline or erythromycin for a long period of time can eliminate the problem of vulvar ulcers that keep coming back.

References;

  1. http://www.dovemed.com/diseases-conditions/genital-ulcer-sores-female/
  2. http://www.aafp.org/afp/2012/0201/p254.html
  3. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/vulvar-cancer/basics/definition/con-20043483

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