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Q: change in skin color in the genital area ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: change in skin color in the genital area
Category: Health > Women's Health
Asked by: maranne153-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 10 Jan 2006 17:18 PST
Expires: 09 Feb 2006 17:18 PST
Question ID: 431798
During my last pap smear, the PA. told me that the skin around the
opening of my vagina has turned white. I took a look later and sure
enough it was white. I have no problems in that area,discharge or
itching. I am not sexually active.
So the question is, why would that area turn white?
Subject: Re: change in skin color in the genital area
Answered By: crabcakes-ga on 10 Jan 2006 18:40 PST
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Hello Maranne153,

    I?m sorry your PA left you concerned about your genital health.
What did s/he say about the white skin when you asked? Were you given
no answers?

Is the skin in your genital area still white? Did the PA ?paint? you
with acetic acid to check for genital warts? If so, this can
temporarily turn your skin white. I've posted several possibilities,
but possibilities only.

?The skin around the external genitalia can become thickened from
hormonal changes and chronic irritation. The labia and surrounding
skin may darken or lighten, depending on the specific problem and
factors such as scratching and hygiene. Such changes rarely lead to
cancer but can cause itching, vaginal soreness, and pain during sex.
Thickened areas can also cause the labia or vaginal opening to

?Lichen sclerosus, the most common type of vulvar skin disorder, is
characterized by white, shiny patches of parchment-like skin on and
around the labia. The patches sometimes extend to the area around the
anus. The cause is unknown.
Lichen sclerosus sometimes causes intense itching. However, some women
have no symptoms, some have only vague discomfort of the vulva, and
still others have discomfort that progressively worsens. The patches
of skin affected by lichen sclerosus can bleed easily when scratched
or rubbed, making sexual intercourse uncomfortable. Without treatment,
the disorder can cause scarring and fusing of the labia, making sexual
intercourse impossible. Lichen sclerosus can also cause deep cracks
around the anus, resulting in painful bowel movements and bleeding.
Skin changes caused by lichen sclerosus may increase the risk of
vulvar cancer.?

??  Lichen sclerosus 
?	Very common in menopausal women
?	Look for:
?	thinner, atrophic-appearing, white skin
?	loss of normal vulvar architecture
?	complaints of itching, burning, or irritation?

?Prevention of skin disorders of the vulva involves good vulvar
hygiene, which includes avoiding irritating soaps and perfumes.
Periodic self-examination of the vulva is also recommended, as is an
annual doctor's examination for detection of skin changes that could
signal cancer. Women who are unable to see well enough or who lack the
flexibility to examine themselves can ask a spouse, partner, or
caregiver to do it for them. Without such help, annual doctor's visits
may not catch the progression of skin changes in women with a history
of previous abnormalities.?

What you can do:

The information here is only for informational purposes. We can not
diagnose your condition online. I did not suggest a yeast infection,
since you have no itchingI would suggest you contact a good
gynecologist, and not a PA.  If the PA noticed your skin was an
unusual color, s/he should have given you some answers, or called in
the doctor to check you, to rule out anything of concern. You may need
further testing, or even a biopsy of the skin. You don?t mention your
age or race, but as noted, post-menopausal woman may have skin changes
due to a drop in hormones.  Different races also exhibit different
skin colors in certain areas of the body. Hormones  affect melanocytes
(cells that produce skin color) and this may be a contributing factor
for you.

I urge you to visit a doctor for a follow-up, after checking to see if
your skin is still white. If not, it was probably due to being coated
with acetic acid. You can call the office and ask if they tested you
for HPV with acetic acid. (Did you notice a vinegary smell during your

Please request an Answer Clarification, if this is not the answer you
were seeking. I will be glad to assist you further, before you rate.

Sincerely, Crabcakes

Search Terms

White skin + vulva
Skin discoloration + genital area + vulva
maranne153-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars

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