Causes, diagnosis, treatment and more
Many conditions can cause flaking, peeling, and itching in and around the vaginal area. These include conditions that affect the skin, as well as those specific to the reproductive organs.
Read on to learn more about the most common causes of vaginal peeling and how to treat this symptom.
People with female genitalia often think that their whole area “over there” is a vagina, but in reality, the vagina is only part of the vulva.
The vulva contains several layers designed to cover and protect the sexual organs and the urinary orifice. These parts are:
- Vagina. This muscle channel connects the cervix to the outside of your body.
- Vaginal vestibule. Located between the urethra and the anus, it is the opening of the vagina.
- Clitoris. Located just above the urethra, the clitoris is a sexual organ that produces pleasure.
- Urethra. As part of the renal system, the urethra carries urine out of the body.
- Big lips. These are the fleshy outer “lips” of the vulva.
- Small lips. It is the delicate skin, located under the labia majora, which surrounds the clitoris.
- Perineum. This is the area between the vaginal opening and the anus.
- Bartholin’s glands. These glands produce lubrication and are located on either side of the vaginal opening.
If any part of the vulva becomes irritated or inflamed, it can result in peeling and peeling of the skin. Dry skin, in and around the vagina, can also be itchy and flaky.
Vaginal scaling may be accompanied by other symptoms. The symptoms you have will be determined by the root cause of your condition.
Other symptoms include:
- itching, which can be severe
- burning or tingling sensation
- peeling skin
- small skin tears
- red or white patches of skin
- bumpy rash
- vaginal odor or discharge
There are many potential causes of vaginal peeling. They understand:
There are seven different types of eczema. According to the National Eczema Society, the types most likely to affect the genitals are:
Eczema is an inflammatory skin condition that can affect many areas of the body and face. Eczema causes the skin to take on a red, rash-like appearance and can be itchy. It can also cause cracks in the skin, as well as peeling and flaking.
Eczema can affect the outer layers of the vulva and vaginal vestibule. If you scratch, it can make the condition worse and lead to thickening of the skin, swelling, and increased peeling of the vaginal skin.
Eczema is sometimes triggered by exposure to an allergen. The vulva can become irritated or inflamed if you are allergic or sensitive to products that come in contact with that area of your body. These include:
- soap, wipes and shower gel used to cleanse the skin
- ingredients in hair removal products
- fabrics like nylon or polyester
Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disease that involves a rapid buildup of skin cells that can cause plaques and scales to form on the skin. Up to
According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, the two types of psoriasis most likely to affect the genitals are:
When psoriasis affects the skin of the vulva, pink or red patches and skin cracks are common symptoms.
Candidiasis (vaginal yeast infection)
Vaginal yeast infections are common. They are caused by an overgrowth of Candidiasis, a natural yeast that lives in the vagina.
A thick, fragrant discharge that looks like cottage cheese is a common symptom of candidiasis. Your skin may be intensely irritated and swollen. It can also peel or scratch, especially if you scratch yourself.
Multiple sclerosis is an inflammatory skin condition that most affects postmenopausal women. Young girls who have not yet reached puberty or who have not yet had their period may also be affected.
Common symptoms include white patches of wrinkled, shiny skin around the genitals and anus, as well as severe itching. The skin affected by multiple sclerosis becomes thinner than it should be. Because of this, peeling, bruising and blistering can also occur.
Lichen planus is a rash on the skin triggered by an overactive immune system. It can affect the skin inside the vagina, as well as the outer layers of the vulva. It also affects other areas of the body, including the inside of the mouth.
Lichen planus is sometimes mistaken for vaginal atrophy. It causes raw, burning skin that is painful inside and outside of the vagina. The skin may crack or appear red. It can also be streaked with white or have a lace pattern.
When it affects the inside of the vagina, symptoms may include a thick yellow discharge.
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
Another cause of peeling skin on or around the vagina can be an STI.
STIs that can cause sores or dry skin that can lead to vaginal peeling include:
herpes simplex virus (HSV)
HIV / AIDS
The conditions that cause vaginal peeling have different treatments. In order to resolve the problem as quickly as possible, see a gynecologist if you have a vaginal peel. To make a diagnosis, your doctor will visually assess your genital area.
They will ask you questions about health issues you might have, such as autoimmune diseases and inflammatory skin conditions. They will also ask you questions about any medications and supplements you are currently taking. They will ask you questions about your sexual history and may do tests for STIs.
If lichen planus or multiple sclerosis is suspected, they may take a skin biopsy.
If you have a vaginal peel, stop using products that could irritate your skin. If eczema is the cause of your symptoms, this may be enough to eliminate the symptoms.
Soothing treatments, such as soaking in a hot colloidal oatmeal bath, can also help.
Wear only breathable fabrics such as cotton and loose, non-binding underwear.
Yeast infections are one of the most common causes of vaginal symptoms such as peeling skin. This condition can be treated with over-the-counter medications designed for this purpose, such as antifungal creams. If you don’t have a yeast infection, these treatments can make vaginal peeling and itching worse. For this reason, see your doctor first, especially if you have never had these symptoms before.
Your doctor may prescribe very strong corticosteroid creams or oral corticosteroids. In some cases, an estrogen cream may also be prescribed.
If you have psoriasis or eczema, you might be more likely to have vaginal peeling and other uncomfortable genital symptoms. Psoriasis also increases the risk of multiple sclerosis.
If you swim or exercise regularly, change wet or sweaty clothes quickly. Any activity that puts pressure on the genitals, such as cycling, can also increase the risk.
Wearing nylon and other non-breathable fabrics, or using products that contain perfumes or chemicals, can irritate the vaginal skin and increase the risk.
Whatever the cause, a vaginal peel usually responds well to treatment. Tell your doctor if you have any recurrence of symptoms. In some cases, another topical or oral medication may be prescribed.
Vaginal scaling can be caused by several underlying conditions. This symptom is often accompanied by itching, burning, or swelling.
If you have a vaginal peel, your doctor will often be able to make a diagnosis by doing a visual check-up. This condition generally responds well to treatment.