Why Do I Have a Rash Near My Vagina?

Many different conditions can cause you to develop a rash around your vagina. Some are minor and some are more serious. If you have a vaginal rash, see your doctor to know for sure what caused it. This article will examine just a few of the conditions that can cause a vaginal rash.

Molluscum contagiosum . This is a virus that causes a skin infection. It leads to patches of small, red, and shiny bumps that can occur on many parts of the body, including your pubic area. The bumps don’t hurt or itch. But they can get infected and become red, swollen, and uncomfortable. The virus is spread through skin-to-skin contact with someone who has it. You can also get it by touching an object (like a towel) that has the virus on it.

Vaginitis or irritation that can cause redness near your vagina. There are several different types of vaginitis such as:

Scabies is caused by a tiny insect (human itch mites) that burrows into your skin. It’s so small you can’t even see it on your skin. One area it burrows into is the skin around your vagina. You may develop a rash or bumps. You may have severe itchiness, especially at night. Scabies can spread through direct skin-to-skin contact with someone who has it. You can also get it by touching items like towels or sheets that are infested with mites.

Psoriasis is a skin disease that can affect any area of the body, including near the vagina. It causes patches on the skin that are red and smooth. If you scratch this area, it can lead to an infection, dryness, or cause the skin to become thick.

Contact dermatitis occurs when you come into contact with products that irritate your skin. These include things like soaps, laundry detergent, pads, perfumes, or lotions. With contact dermatitis, you may have itching, redness, and swelling in the area around your vagina.

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Neurodermatitis is a skin condition that’s also known as lichen simplex chronicus. It causes patches of itchy skin that lead to scratching, which makes you feel even itchier. You may also have patches around your vagina that are leathery, scaly, raised, rough, red, or darker than the rest of your skin. The condition isn’t contagious. It may be due to something that irritates your skin, like a bug bite or tight clothes that trigger the itch-scratch cycle

Lichen sclerosus is a skin condition where patches of skin become white and get thinner. This disorder can occur anywhere on the body, but for women, it most commonly occurs near the genital area. It can cause itching and pain. There is no known cause, but it occurs most often in postmenopausal women. 


Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as syphilis and genital herpes can cause a rash near your vagina. They can also lead to sores or blisters around your vagina that may or may not be painful.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson, MD on April 19, 2019

Sources

SOURCES:

Center for Young Women’s Health: “Molluscum Contagiosum.”

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: “Vaginitis.”

Center for Young Women’s Health: “Scabies.”

American Academy of Dermatology: “Scabies.”

National Psoriasis Foundation: “About Psoriasis,” “General Psoriasis.”

Drexel Medicine: “About Contact or Irritant Dermatitis of the Vulva.”

University of Michigan Medicine: “Vaginal Rashes and Sores.”

Mayo Clinic: “Neurodermatitis.” "Lichen sclerosus."

CDC:  “Syphilis-CDC Fact Sheet,” “Genital Herpes-CDC Fact Sheet.”

National Organization for Rare Disorders: "Lichen Sclerosus."

UpToDate.com: "Patient education: Lichen sclerosus (Beyond the Basics)." 
 

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