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Change in vulval colour

The vulva is usually slightly darker than the rest of your skin – dusky pink or brownish. There are two conditions in which it becomes white in colour.
 

Lichen sclerosus

Lichen sclerosus is a condition in which the vulva is usually itchy as well as pearly white in colour. It needs treatment, so see your doctor.

Vitiligo

In vitiligo, the normal skin pigment is lost from patches of the skin, so those patches look milky white. If your skin is naturally dark, the vitiligo will be very obvious. The texture of the skin is normal, and the condition is not painful or itchy. It may affect other parts of your body as well, or the vulva may be the only site. Vitiligo often runs in families, and usually appears in the teens. It is probably an ‘autoimmune’ disorder in which the body makes antibodies against its own pigment cells. It is not known why it affects some parts of the body (such as the genitals, face, hands and feet) more than others.
 
Vitiligo on other parts of the body can be treated with ultraviolet light, usually two or three times a week for at least 6 months. This usually produces some repigmentation of the area and the effect is usually permanent. When it affects only the genital area, it is not usually treated, but if you are very distressed by it, ask your doctor for a referral to a dermatologist.
 

Written by: Dr Margaret Stearn
Edited by: Dr Margaret Stearn
Last updated: Monday, December 3rd 2012

 

"Perfectly normal vulvas come in all shapes and sizes," says GP and comedian Dr Phil Hammond, "each different and beautiful in their own way." Click on the video below for his reassuring commonsense on the subject.

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Comments on this article

Posted by Optional on 15/05/2013 at 06:39

Hi may i ask why my vitilago around my genital parts are causing me aloft of itching? Is it vitilago or something else. Itching that cause some blood to come out. Thanks.

Posted by Optional on 10/08/2012 at 11:47

is there any ways to make the outer part of vagina fairer!

Posted by Optional on 16/01/2012 at 12:24

I have a purple colour pigment on my vulva, it's been there a long time, I've seen my doctor and was told it's a pigment, but I'm worried and would like more information on this, as she didn't tell me much

Posted by Niah on 31/10/2010 at 09:04

I'm really upset...My vagina is perfectly normal in every way (that I know of) but it's red? I don't itch or burn or anything...I have alot of discharge usualy, it is alway's a white color, so my only question is if it could be from moisture or something? I've told my mom but she just said I need to keep really clean and see if it goes away...So far no luck.

Posted by Ani on 05/09/2010 at 11:30

I sometimes have a sticky white substance (not smelly at all) coming from my vagina during intercourse and my sex partner is a bit concerned....is there reason to be worried?

Posted by Optional on 04/09/2010 at 11:28

colour of vulva is chaged as whitw

Posted by Optional on 07/06/2010 at 01:54

My vulva has been a raw red colour for months, cannesten prescribed by doctor did not help and now ive got whats looks like a small lump/sore!! Please help!!!

Posted by Anonymous on 10/02/2010 at 06:13

hi i have passed menopause and have been getting spotting, and getting backache too, its not lumps of blood but watery blood, also been having a discharge which turns blue, have had a smear test but was all ok, just a little concernd

Posted by Anonymous on 31/01/2010 at 03:27

I understand that a brownish coloring on the vulva lips is normal, but mine seem to be a more grey-ish purple. I hear that's not a good sign. Is that true?

Posted by Anonymous on 10/12/2009 at 12:39

I noticed just over a week after my last period blood in my discharge, it was very black, every day since then i have string like bits and are black, i do not use Tampons so i know it has nothing to do with this, It has been going on for a week now .I do not have any pain and it does not smell.

Posted by charnelle on 27/11/2009 at 10:52

I have a white discharge.. it doesn't smell or anything... I took a pap test and the doctor said everything is ok... but I am still worried.. is this white discharge normal?

Posted by Anonymous on 26/10/2009 at 10:59

i have been getting an itchy, burning and in parts stingy feeling in my genitals.these last a week and go for a couple of weeks then return. I have had sti checks and they are negative. The area can become red and swollen ! I have noticed a few brown patches of skin! These stay all the time. It is really getting to me now.

Posted by Casey on 17/09/2009 at 09:12

my discarge has changed alot recently, it used t be white and stringy, now it appears to be clear and stringy, with blood in it, iits not like e period blood either, could any 1 help me please?

Posted by Anonymous on 03/09/2009 at 02:24

i have a noticable change in vaginal discharge, there is now a lot and it is slippert and a creamy yellow colour, it does not smell. My period is also 3 weeks late but i have taken numerous test and I am not pregnant. I have also been for a sexual health test and i am clear. I dont know what is causing my period to be late and the change in discarge. Please help if you can

Posted by Anonymous on 26/08/2009 at 10:50

within the last three months i have been treated twice with metronidazole for discharge problems (green and smelly)This problem has reared its ugly head again... i am on meds for my BP and Epilepsy, what is wrong?

Posted by Anonymous on 24/08/2009 at 11:25

i have a slight change in vaginal discharge, it is like a pinky beigy colour, slight blood in places, what could this be? I am trying for a baby with a long term partner.

Posted by Anonymous on 20/08/2009 at 02:56

i think you may have lichen sclerosis. i have the same problems as you discribe and the vulval dermatologist did a biopsy and lichen sclerosis was confirmed. hope this helps although there is no cure it caan be controlled with steroid creams.this is for the post on 2nd/08/2009

Posted by Anonymous on 02/08/2009 at 01:35

my husband has noticed that my vagina and surrounding areas has got darker in colour, also my labia is edged with white, and is itchy. Went to Dr and was prescribed something for thrush but it hasn't cleared up

Posted by Anonymous on 14/07/2009 at 01:29

I recently went on the ill and ever since it seems like flaky skin inside my vagina, it washes away, but then comes back again. It doesnt cause itching or burning but it does have a strong fishy smell, ive had it for about a month now and i cannot speak to my mum and dad about it and im too scared to go and see a docter. Help me pleasee.

Posted by norun on 25/06/2009 at 09:50

anonymous: i'm positive you have a yeast infection. if you are taking prescription anti-biotics, which sound like your tablets, but they aren't for a yeast infection, they can cause one. let your doctor know that you are suspecting it is a yeast infection & get a prescription (if thats not what youre taking now), or go buy one over-the-counter. if your prescription is for yeast infection, then go back to the doctor and tell him the medicine hasn't helped. katie: it depends on what kind of discharge it is... but either way, it's nothing to be embarrassed about. just let your mom know that you're uncomfortable for a "girl" reason, and that you'd like to see a doctor to clear it up. i'm sure she will understand. it'll be better to tell someone than to go on with potentially something wrong, and being in discomfort!

Posted by katie on 22/05/2009 at 04:24

i have discharge like every day , i dont know what it is and why i have it ? it only smells sometimes and i dont want to tell anyone im too embarrased sometimes i can smell it when im sitting down someone help me please xx

Posted by Anonymous on 16/04/2009 at 04:38

i have had a viginal infection for the last 3 months ( on and off) it dosn't seem to go. i have been given tablets but their not working. the syptoms are: redness itching ( on the inside and out ) yellow thick discharge burning when i pee i am on tablets for my spots at the moment. could this be the cause? is it dangerous? what could it be? please write back quickly as it is paifull and i dont know if i should see a doctor thank you

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