Most women experience minor vaginal problems from time to time, because this area is sensitive and quite unprotected. These problems may be related to menstrual cycles, sex, infection, birth control methods, aging, medicines, or changes after pregnancy. Soap, certain medications and tight-fitting clothes from synthetic materials can also cause dryness and/or sweating, leading to itching and irritation.
A change in your normal vaginal discharge may be the first sign of a vaginal problem. Changes in urination, such as having to urinate more frequently or having a burning feeling when you urinate, also may be a symptom of a vaginal problem. Though uncomfortable, most of these problems are easily resolved with treatment.
APPOTEK can help and advise you with genital skin problems.
Candidiasis and eczema are the most common causes of itching in genital area for women, but there are diverse possible causes for female genital problems.
As women reach menopause, levels of estrogen begin to decrease. This lack of estrogen causes, among other things, the mucous membranes in the vagina and the urethra to become dry. When the mucous membranes are dry, they can itch and burn. Minor problems can be treated with non-prescription drugs. If you have persistent problems, you should contact a doctor for proper treatment.
Eczema can cause itching with red rash and blisters. If the eczema is located on the vulva, it can also burn. There are many causes of eczema in the genital area, such as certain clothing, soap and medicines. If you have persistent problems you consult a doctor for treatment.
Pubic lice are spread through close contact, for example having sex or using towels or wearing clothes of an infected person. The lice cause itching and are located mainly in genital area, but can also be found in the eyebrows and beard. You can treat crabs with non prescription medicines from any pharmacy.
Every third person carries the herpes virus – a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Symptoms might not appear for weeks or even years after initial infection, but you will have the herpes virus for the rest of your life.
Symptoms include small blisters that burst to leave red, open sores around your genitals, anus, thighs or bottom; tingling, burning or itching around your genitals; pain when you pee.
Many people who get herpes never have symptoms, or have mild symptoms that can be mistaken for other skin conditions.
There’s no cure for herpes and the symptoms clear up by themselves, but the blisters can come back (an outbreak or recurrence). The first time you have genital herpes, you may be prescribed antiviral medicine to stop the symptoms getting worse (you need to start taking this within 5 days of symptoms appearing); you may also be prescribed cream for the pain.
Genital wart is a venereal disease that causes warts in the genital area or in anus. They’re caused by certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV). There’s no cure for genital warts, but it’s possible for your body to clear the virus over time. This can sometimes take several years, but may be faster with the help of different treatments that may be prescribed by a doctor.
Lichen sclerosus is a skin disease that affects genital area and anus. It is most common in women over 40 and causes itching, burning and pain during intercourse. Consult a doctor for treatment if you have itching in genital area and see small white patches that are blotchy and wrinkled.
If you have genital psoriasis you will see red glossy spots on the vulva, upper thighs and groin. You may also have a rash in the anus or on the buttocks. Symptoms usually disappear quickly with treatment. Genital psoriasis treatments may include: Medication applied to the skin, such as low dose steroid creams, vitamin D, or ointments containing calcineurin inhibitors. For more serious cases, ultraviolet light treatment or oral medicines such as retinoids or biologic drugs, may be prescribed. Consult a doctor for treatment.
Candida or “thrush” is a common yeast infection that causes the mucous membrane of the genitals to become red and swollen, with white vaginal discharge, itching and soreness. It’s usually harmless but it can be uncomfortable and keeps coming back. It is not classed as a sexually transmitted infection (STI).
There are different types of antifungal medicines to treat candida, both prescription and non-prescription.
Syphilis is a bacterial infection that’s spread by sexual intercourse. It is not common, but can cause serious problems if it’s left untreated. You may have symptoms in the form of ulcers in the genital area, but not everyone gets symptoms and so may spread the infection without knowing they are infected.
Syphilis can usually be cured with a short course of antibiotics. It is important to get tested and treated as soon as possible if you think you might have syphilis. You can catch syphilis more than once, even if you have been treated for it before. Practising safe sex is important for prevention and containment.
How APPOTEK can help
APPOTEK can help with consultations and advice on female genital conditions, but a physical examination may be required to correctly diagnose and prescribe treatment.