Vulvitis is an extremely bothersome condition that results in the irritation of the exterior female genitals. This can include all areas of the vulva including the labia, urethral opening, vaginal opening and clitoris. The most common symptoms of this condition including itching, burning, discharge, irritation, swelling and cracked skin. It can make life very difficult, as the burning and itching can be very intense without treatment. Before you can figure out how to treat vulvitis, however, you must learn what causes it.
One of the most common causes of vulvitis is an allergy to something that comes into contact with the vulvar area. For instance, some soaps, bubble bath products and deodorants might irritate the area, causing these symptoms. Also, some underwear, sanitary towels and pantyhose might cause irritation if you are allergic to the material.
Another potential cause of vulvitis is irritation caused by chafing. That is, any sort of activity that could place repetitive pressure on the vulva like horseback riding or riding a bike. However, sexual activities could also be to blame, especially if enough lubrication is not available.
Infections of a bacterial or fungal origin can also be to blame for vulvitis. The most common infection of this type is the yeast infection, which is known to cause the vulva to become red and swollen and oftentimes very itchy. However, other possibly infectious causes include scabies and pediculosis.
For some people, swimming in a pool or soaking in a hot tub can cause vulvitis. This may be due to the chlorine in the water or the temperature. In some cases, bacteria are present in the water, causing an infection to develop.
For some, vulvitis is caused by a pre-existing condition like dermatitis or eczema. This can cause itching, redness and thickened cracking skin all over the body, so if you present with symptoms of vulvitis and have signs of skin irritation elsewhere, one of these conditions is the likely root cause.
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