A common complaint among women is a chronic vulvar irritation often described as an “itching or burning” sensation. The irritation may involve the vulva, vaginal opening, and perineum and extend toward the perianal area. At times the symptoms may "come and go" or improve only temporarily with medications. Patients may feel that this is affected by hygiene, diet or clothing choices. The irritation may increase with exercise, humidity, sexual activity or stress. The skin may appear red and irritated or may have very little manifestation. Patients are sometimes erroneously diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease, chronic yeast, and vulvodynia or even told they are just “anxious”.
While there are several skin conditions that can cause vulvar skin irritation, one of the most common causes of chronic external vulvar irritation is an overgrowth of a normal skin organism. This condition, seborrheic/atopic vulvitis, may be easily treated with topical medications and typically results in rapid relief of symptoms.
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