What is vaginal rash?

Although vaginal rashes can be related to noninfectious conditions, such as allergic reactions and contact dermatitis, many are due to sexually transmitted infections. The area around the vagina may be reddened with blisters or sores, or it may retain its normal color but have bumps present. Other symptoms, such as discharge, pain, burning with urination, or itching, may also occur.

Not all sexually transmitted infections cause vaginal rashes; the ones that most commonly do are genital herpes, syphilis, and human papillomavirus (HPV). Genital herpes typically causes clusters of painful red blisters that may be itchy. Syphilis may be associated with a solitary, painless, red sore on the vulva that may be followed by a rash on the hands and feet. Genital warts may develop as a result of HPV infection.

Molluscum contagiosum is a contagious disease caused by a virus that can be transmitted through contaminated objects, direct contact, and sexual contact. The rash associated with it consists of small, flesh-colored bumps that often have a central plug of white, waxy material. Pubic lice and scabies, which can also be spread sexually, can lead to scratching and rash-like scabs and sores.

Syphilis is curable with antibiotics if treated early. Pubic lice and scabies are typically treated with topical solutions. Genital herpes and the human papilloma virus are not curable, but treatments are available that can help manage symptoms. Molluscum contagiosum goes away on its own over a course of months to years; however, the individual bumps can be removed surgically or with topical medications.

Sometimes vaginal rashes can be accompanied by conditions that can have serious or even life-threatening complications. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you have a high fever (higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit) or severe abdominal or pelvic pain.

Since some causes of vaginal rashes are treatable, and because many can be spread to other people or lead to significant complications, if you develop a vaginal rash, you should seek prompt medical care.

SYMPTOMS

What other symptoms might occur with vaginal rash?

A vaginal rash may accompany other symptoms, which vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Conditions that cause vaginal rashes can cause other vaginal or vulvar symptoms or affect other body systems.

Vaginal or vulvar symptoms that may occur along with vaginal rash

Vaginal rash may accompany other symptoms affecting the vagina or vulva includin... Read more about vaginal rashsymptoms

CAUSES

What causes vaginal rash?

Vaginal rashes can be caused by non-infectious conditions, such as allergic reactions, irritation, or inflammation, or by infectious conditions. Many of the infectious conditions are spread sexually, although some are not.

Infectious causes of vaginal rash

Vaginal rash may be caused by infections including:

Medical Reviewer: Cynthia Haines, MD Last Annual Review Date: Aug 11, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.