What is Vulvar Dystrophy?

Vulvar dystrophy is a change in the skin of the labia/vulva. Vulvar dermatoses is another term used for changes in the skin of the vulva. Unlike other types of vulvar discomfort (such as vulvodynia) in which there are no visible symptoms, with vulva dermatoses there are physical signs such as lesions and other changes in the color and appearance of the skin in and around the vulva.

Vulvar dermatoses can occur in younger females, however, these skin conditions are more commonly found in postmenopausal women.

● Three common types of vulvar dystrophy, (vulvar dermatoses) include:
Lichen Simplex Chronicus  (thickening of skin, darken red area labia)
This skin condition involves intense itching that leads to a chronic itch-scratch cycle, resulting in thickening of the skin  around the vulva. Symptoms include large patches of thickened, scaly, darkened or reddened skin caused by repetitive scratching. Lichen Simplex Chronicus can also affect other areas of the body.

Lichen Sclerosus  (thinning of skin, white patch on labia)
This chronic skin condition affects the vulva but can also appear on the upper body, breasts and arms. Symptoms include severe vulva itching and pain, white patches of skin on the vulva, areas of bruising, and thin, dry, crinkled skin that splits easily (fissures), which can damage vulva skin leading to burning, stinging and pain during sex and urination.

Symptoms may worsen with stress. Untreated, lichen sclerosus can cause severe scarring of the vulva, include shrinking of the labia, and narrowing of the vaginal entrance. Lichen Sclerosus is associated with a small increased risk of vulval cancer. Recurrent symptoms are common.

Lichen Planus  (inflammation, purplish patch labia skin)
Symptoms include small, violet/purplish, itchy lesions, soreness and burning, bleeding, and painful intercourse. Vaginal discharge may be heavier, sticky and/or yellow. If left untreated, lichen planus can cause scarring of the labia, vulva area. Lichen Planus can affect the vulva, vagina and other areas of the body, including the mouth and limbs.

● What causes vulvar dermatoses?
The exact cause of vulvar dermatoses is not yet known; however an overactive immune system or genetics may play a role.

● How is vulvar dermatoses treated?
Prescription topical steroids are typically used to reduce the itching and inflammation.
However, the ongoing use of steroid, corticosteroid cream often generates additional skin damage for women with vulvar dystrophy such as epidermal atrophy, degeneration of the dermal structure and collagen deterioration. Additionally, corticosteroid creams/ointments can also diminish the skin’s protective immune function (anti-microbial peptides, and/or acid mantle/pH) which increases vulnerability to bacterial and fungal vulva infections. In short the ongoing use of steroid – corticosteroid creams have potential to aggravate vulva skin condition.

Keirá Feminine Cream is a non steroid therapeutic with anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. Keirá is a daily maintenance therapeutic for use after prescription steroid therapy is completed (a post steroid therapeutic). Keirá supports the structure of the vulva skin to reduce the dependency on topical corticosteroids. To learn more about Keirá Feminine Cream click here.

Corticosteroid drugs: any one of several synthetic or naturally occurring substances with the general chemical structure of steroids.

The vulva is the outer part of the female genitals. The vulva includes the labia majora, the labia minora and the clitoris (at the top of the inner lips). The labia minora are two soft folds of skin within the labia majora. The vagina opens into the part of the vulva called the vestibule. The urethra, which empties urine from the bladder, also opens into the vulva area.

Kátha Soma Consumer Healthcare manufactures and distributes skin care therapeutics and medical food. Kátha Soma therapeutics are formulated to help people living with cancer, chronic disease or slow cell renewal due to aging, minimize their sign & symptoms, achieve daily comfort and maintain quality of life.

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. Please seek the advise of a qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.