Sores or lesions on the female genitalia or in the vagina may have a number of possible causes.
Sores on the female genitals
Genital sores may be painful, itchy, produce a discharge, or cause no symptoms at all.
Because genital lesions or sores can have a negative affect on a person's self-image, many people do not seek proper medical care. All genital sores should be evaluated by a medical professional.
Itching, painful urination, or painful sexual intercourse often occur with genital lesions.
Sores or lesions on the female genitals are often caused by sexually transmitted infections (STIs). STIs that can cause these sores include:
Chancroid Genital herpes Granuloma inguinale Molluscum contagiosum Syphilis Genital warts
Precancerous changes of the vulva (vulvar dysplasia) may appear as white, red, or brown patches on the vulva, and may cause itching. The vulva can also develop skin cancers such as
Nonsexually transmitted diseases may also produce sores on the genitals. In young girls (before puberty), common causes of genital sores include:
Atopic dermatitis Contact dermatitis
Less common causes include:
- Skin conditions such as
lichen planus, lichen sclerosis, seborrheic dermatitis, and vitiligo
- Noncancerous (benign) cysts or
abscesses of the Bartholin'sor Skene's glands
Review Date: 12/14/2009
Reviewed By: Daniel N. Sacks, MD, FACOG, Obstetrics & Gynecology in Private Practice, West Palm Beach, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by Linda Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine; and David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.