About Vaginal Dryness

Vulval Dermatitis (also known as Vaginal Dryness) is an inflammatory condition causing irritation of the skin on or around the vulva. Vulval dermatitis is characterised by intense vulval itching and swelling, burning on urination and painful intercourse.

There are two types of vulval dermatitis, irritative and allergic. The local conditions of heat, wetness and friction modify the ‘text-book’ signs of skin disease when it occurs on the vulva. These conditions also make these skin signs much subtler. This is why many doctors may think your vulval skin looks ‘normal’, when in fact there may be a subtle (but still significant) rash on it.

Vulval dermatitis is frequently mistaken for candidiasis (thrush), resulting in women often self-treating repeatedly with anti-fungals, which are ineffective against dermatitis. Vulval dermatitis is usually associated with a thin but offensive discharge and not the thick “cottage cheese” discharge associated with thrush. It is possible for dermatitis and thrush to occur at the same time. Often the same anti-fungal creams used to treat thrush cause dermatitis on the vulva. Medical examination and vaginal swabs can determine the diagnosis.

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