oa Current Allergy & Clinical Immunology - Vulvar conditions where allergy plays a role : review article

Volume 28, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1609-3607



The vulvar skin in the adult comprises about one percent of the body surface and it is a highly specialised and adaptable skin. The competency of the vulvar and vaginal skin to withstand injury and infection is a remarkable feat of humankind. However, a number of allergic conditions may affect this region of the female body. The major symptomatology of vulvar disease can be summarised as pain, pruritus, swelling, local masses and dyspareunia and most of these are common in allergic diseases in this area. Symptoms of contact dermatitis include severe pruritus, swelling and usually a date of onset. Several causes of contact dermatitis are known, including allergy to condom contents. Atopic vulvar dermatitis is the vulvar component of systemic atopy and the vulva displays the symptoms of pruritus and burning. Allergens may produce the condition known as painful vulva syndrome, which presents as vulvodynia. The vulva is sometimes the only affected part of the skin in women with eczema.

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