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Reviewed by Frank Cockerill, MD, July 21, 2017
an inflammation of the vagina that
typically results in itching, discharge, and pain, is often
identified as a reddish rash by women. These rashes may be
accompanied bumps and sores. These can also be painful or itchy.
Vaginal rashes can also occur around the labia, clitoris, and the vaginal opening for some women.
If left untreated, vaginal rashes can lead to more serious complications, depending on the root cause.
Can an STD cause a vaginal rash?
Yes. Getting tested regularly is the best way to stay up-to-date on your sexual health. If you are
having unprotected sex or sex with a new partner, STD testing may be the right decision for you.
Most women don’t know that vaginal rashes can be a symptom of
herpes simplex virus type 1 &
herpes simplex virus type 2.
Gonorrhea and chlamydia are curable with antibiotics if
detected and treated early. As long as it’s treated in the early stages, associated long-term
risks with gonorrhea and chlamydia are minimal.
There is not a cure for Herpes 1 & 2. Antiviral
medications can help prevent the spread of Herpes 1 & 2 but it is not a 100% guarantee. By
taking prescribed medications, using condoms and notifying their partners, women who test positive for herpes 1 & 2 can help reduce the
risk of infecting others while being sexually active.
Untreated STDs can cause long term health problems for patients, so it’s important
to get tested if you believe you’re at risk.
Without diagnostic testing, there are a number of contributing factors that could be giving
you vaginal rashes and redness. Getting tested is a helpful option
in narrowing down what exactly is causing your vaginal rash and vaginal itching.
Aside from STDs, vaginal itching and associated rashes can be caused by:
Yeast infections. Also called vaginal candidiasis,
they can cause a rash in the moist skin folds of the vaginal area.
These can cause itching, redness, swelling, and a white discharge.
Psoriasis. This condition typically appears
as raised red or white patches topped with silvery, scaling skin. These patches are
typically found on a the elbow, tailbone, scalp, knee, and back. But it can be found
in other areas of the body like the vagina.
This infection spreads due to skin to skin contact. It typically appears as firm, round
bumps on the skin. These bumps may be itchy and inflamed for some women.
Contact dermatitis. The cause of this
skin rash is contact with a certain substance.
Eczema. This inflammation
of the skin is not caused by an infection, but can be triggered by foods or environmental factors.
Bacterial vaginosis. This condition is associated with a
bacterial overgrowth in the vagina.
Genital warts. Small
bumps occur on the genitals.
Scabies. This itchy skin
condition is caused by tiny mites that burrow into the outer layers of the skin.
Chancroid. This venereal
infection rarely occurs in the U.S., causing ulceration for the lymph nodes in the groin.
Granuloma inguinale. This rare condition is a
bacterial disease typically characterized by ulcerative genital lesions.
Lymphogranuloma venereum. An
uncommon STD caused by rare strains of Chlamydia trachomatis that infect the lymph nodes in the groin area.
infection affects one or more of the pockets from which hair grows, also called a hair
Vitiligo. An autoimmune disease
that causes the loss of skin color in blotches.
Acanthosis nigricans. A skin condition characterized by dark, velvety patches in body folds and
Hidradenitis suppurativa. A chronic skin condition featuring lumps in places such as the armpits or
Skin tags. A common
skin growth in which a short, narrow stalk sticks out.