Hi. Now, I’m not sure if this is a question I should be concerned about because I’ve seen many pages saying it’s normal, and some it’s not. I’m also worried if it’s okay for my age. I’m in my early teenage years. Is my labia a little darker than it is now? Is it normal for them to have some wrinkles? Is it normal for them to itch? (I have eczema, I thought that might be the cause of the itching, however it’s never happened before) The inner labia is a little pinkish red, but I’m not too worried about it. I don’t want to consult a doctor unless absolutely necessary, because I am very embarrassed, especially given my age, and I am not sure if it is really something as serious as a bacterial infection or just normal for someone. It doesn’t itch during the day, but at night for some reason. (I also live in a really dry area and have sensitive skin) Anyhow, can you please help me let me know if I should be concerned and recommend any tips for prevention ? Thanks
I am very grateful that you asked this. I had other questions about this. It took a bit of courage to come up with this!
Genital skin is a little different than say…. Skin on the face or skin on the back. It is thinner, more prone to irritation and very stretchy. This makes sense if we think about how it works and the fact that it expands and contracts a lot with stimulation, sex, pregnancy, even just the occasional monthly hormone change. .
What does normal genital skin look like?
- Skin color genitals: So yeah… from the first days on, in most people, this skin is slightly darker in color. This is normal! The same is true around the anus. I was worried when I heard about vaginal bleaching. In the long run, this is frustrating for many people. Irritation gradually causes the pigment to become darker. And, let’s think about this! Why do we try to make our genitals look like a pre-ten child?
- Genital skin texture: Slight wrinkling is also normal. That’s because the skin needs to be able to expand and contract. It is smoother when there is more blood flow (stimulation) and more wrinkles at rest.
- Laba color: The color of the labia varies depending on the skin type. Whether your fair skin is dark or light, OUTDOOR labia will be darker. The inner labia (mucosa) are smoother and pinker. Same goes for the penis. It’s just that the mucosa is harder to see.
What substances irritate the labia and can cause genital itching and discomfort?
- STDs – Okay… .. I have to say this. If you’re having sex and have new itching, discharge, discomfort, or pain, you may have a sexually transmitted infection (STD) and you need to see a doctor! Planned Parenthood or the county hospital provides these services discreetly. And, if any of you can, PLEASE donate to them and help more under-resourced women. Regardless of your politics, I think we can all agree that we don’t want any woman or man to be harmed by a lack of medical care.
- Eczema This is quite common on the labia and on the penis, and especially in people who are prone to itching. Possible helpful measures include avoiding all fragranced products, washing all underwear in a chemical-free laundry soap, absolutely NO dryer towels (not even the ‘natural’ one” ), avoid rubbing and friction, and use a bland protective layer. Many people use a little vaseline but something more organic like avocado oil or even olive oil would be better.
- Yeast infection These conditions usually need a doctor’s diagnosis and treatment, but there are drugstore products available. Ask your pharmacist. Yeast infection is NOT an STD. It’s an overgrowth of your own normal yeast. Probiotics also help many people.
- Personal lubricants or other products Many of these contain chemicals such as propylene glycol, which over time can cause allergic reactions. Look for products that are as natural as possible and are PG-free to use on the genital area.
Hope this is useful,
Dr. Brandith Irwin