Vulvar eczema (also called vulva dermatitis) is characterized by dry, irritated, red skin. The dryness occurs due to impaired function of the dermis (middle) and the epidermis (top) layers of the skin which results in significant water loss. The redness occurs because inflammatory cell activity within the dermis skin layer causes blood vessels to widen allowing for more blood pooling within the skin (vasocongestion).
The behavior of vulva eczema takes place in the dermis (middle) skin layer. However, the visual effect of eczema is seem on the top skin layer. Therefore, to address eczema symptoms the treatment needs to seep through the middle skin layer. Keirá Feminine Ointment uniquely penetrates the deeper skin layers to calm labia, vulva eczema symptoms (see photo below).
In the vulva area eczema tends to be more in the folds of skin i.e. between the labia majora and labia minora and may affect the skin around the anus and the area of skin between the buttocks. The skin may itch and appear red, inflamed, and weepy.
Women with vulvar eczema (dermatitis) often experience chronic irritation and/or itching (pruritus), which causes persistent rubbing and scratching of the vulva area. Besides discomfort, constant rubbing/scratching labia/vulva area can lead to scarring and changes in the vulva skin termed lichen simplex chronicus. The scratching also diminishes labia, vulva skins protective pH, acid mantle and anti-microbial peptide capacity leading to bacteria and yeast overgrowth (more discomfort).
Vulvar eczema tends to be grouped into two types:
1) allergic (endogenous)
2) contact or irritant (exogenous). 80% of vulvar eczema symptoms result from contact with fabric, lotions, soap, toilet paper etc.
● Endogenous (allergic) vulvar dermatitis tends to run in families, often begins in childhood, and is characterized by itching. In allergic dermatitis (20 percent of cases), the trigger (allergen) induces an immune response. Eczema is thought to be mediated by TH2 cells, a subset of immune cells which are responsible for allergic responses to environmental allergens.
● Exogenous vulvar dermatitis results from external factors, and is also called irritant or contact dermatitis. In irritant/contact dermatitis (80 percent of cases), the trigger (bath soap, laundry soap, feminine products, toilet paper etc) directly irritates the skin.
Really Helpful Toilet paper is often a contributing factor to vulva, labia symptoms. Facial tissues, paper towels, and other forms of paper contain formaldehyde. Formaldehyde and its reactive derivatives are used in the paper industry to improve the wet-strength and other “valued” characteristics of paper and paper products. The formaldehyde and chlorine (used to bleach the toilet tissue) cause contact dermatitis (vulvar eczema like symptoms) in many women and girls. The symptoms occur over days, even weeks. When you stop using the toilet tissue it make take several days (or longer) for the vulva and labia tissue to renew and symptoms to calm.
If possible use tampons rather than pads: the plastic backing in pads is a real problem. If you use a panty liner make sure it does not contain any plastic. Active and inactive ingredients, preservatives of topical medications (applied to the skin) are a common contributor of vulva eczema (vulva dermatitis) with persistent vulvar symptoms. For example creams or ointments with glycerin and/or botanicals from the ragweed family (chamomile) can contribute to labia/vulva irritation.
How is vulvar eczema (vulva dermatitis) treated?
Prescription topical corticosteroid drugs (steroid cream/ointment) are typically used to reduce labia, vulva itching and inflammation. Corticosteroid drugs are any one of several synthetic or naturally occurring substances with the general chemical structure of steroids. Keep in mind, topical steroids are not a cure and do not effect the underlying cause of the skin condition.
However, the ongoing use of corticosteroid cream often generates additional skin damage for women with vulvar eczema such as epidermal atrophy, degeneration of the dermal structure and collagen deterioration. Additionally, ongoing use of corticosteroids creams can diminish the skins natural immune cell protectors called antimicrobial peptides. The already troubled skin is then more vulnerable to bacterial and yeast/fungal infections.
Keirá Feminine Ointment is a non steroid therapeutic with anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. Keirá calms inflammation, relieves dryness, supports natural pH, and enhances the skin’s repair capacity. CLICK HERE to learn more about Keirá Feminine.
The vulvar structures include the mons pubis, labia majora, labia minora, clitoris, vulva vestibule (the opening of the vagina), and urethra. Vulvar eczema can develop in isolation, specific to mons pubis, labia majora, labia minora etc or may occur as part of eczema in other areas of the body (hands, elbows etc).
Vulvitis: Inflammation of the external genital organs of the female (the vulva).
DISCLAIMER: Kátha Soma does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The information provided is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is best to seek the advice of a qualified health care provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Visit: www.Katha-Soma.com
Kátha Soma Consumer Health USA/2016