Aunt Vadge: my vulva is peeling and itchy, my clitoris painful

Dear Aunt Vadge, 

I have an itchy vagina that feels really dry, like dry skin is coming off, occasionally a stabbing-like pain in my clit, and a couple small cuts that are really painful, about above the clit, and other is just under the vaginal entrance. No discharge, though there is clumped-up white stuff around where it itches, looks like dry skin peeling. It started about a week or two ago, and nothing has changed in that time frame, apart from cuts coming and going.

Best,
Itchy
Australia Age: 21

Hi Itchy,

You don’t mention any sexual activity, so I’m going to assume this is not being caused by any sort of external force. The first port of call is going to be your doctor, who can examine you in person, and do relevant testing, including for possible STIs. Your symptoms do sound worrisome, but you won’t know until you get checked.

Read through each of these, and see which symptoms match the ones you have. Go to your appointment armed.

Check out our articles on lichenoid conditions, including contact dermatitis. There are a bunch of conditions that result in itchy, dry patches and generally strange symptoms of the vaginal area.

It could be a fungal infection of some kind (yeast, tinea). It could also be genital psoriasis, scleroderma, Sjogren’s syndrome, or vaginal dryness (xerosis).

If you do have one of these, it’s important to catch it early and get rid of symptoms so your vulva stays intact.

Once you have a diagnosis, you can then delve into whatever alternative treatments that seem appropriate. Unless the solution is straightforward (take this = problem solved) then naturopathic solutions may have a lot to offer you. But, all in good time. You need a diagnosis first, so don’t waste any more time – make an appointment today with someone who looks at vaginas all the time, like a sexual health clinic.

Read up, see what seems the most likely, write a timeline diary with symptoms, changes to habits (laundry detergent, toilet paper, food, moved house, job or school, etc.) and take that with you to your appointment.

Write back anytime.

Warmest regards,
Aunt Vadge