Worried about unusual dark marks in or around your vagina? While every woman is different and it is normal for the skin around your vagina to be a bit darker than the rest of your body, any new lumps, bumps, dark marks or streaks can be alarming. We speak to Shohreh Beski, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at The Regenerative Clinic , about vaginal skin discolouration and when to be concerned:. The vagina itself has a completely different type of skin to the rest of your body.
This is made up of mucosa - mucous membrane layers of epithelial cells overlying a layer of loose connective tissue, allowing absorption and secretion. This should more usually appear pink. In menopausal women the vagina may appear lighter in colour. This is what we can mainly see and the skin of the vulva is darker.
It is usually slightly darker than your skin tone and this is normal. If you have painless, blueish-black marks anywhere on the skin around your vagina or vulva, it may be veins showing through. As women age, the fatty tissue under the skin gets thinner and veins can be visible as dark markings. Streaks of discolouration, or darker streaks may also be caused by trauma, for instance, childbirth. If you are at all concerned about any vaginal or vulval skin discolouration then it is worth getting checked out by your GP.
The skin of the vulva will naturally be darker, and trauma such as childbirth or visible veins may cause streaks of discolouration. However, its important to know that dark 'patches' within the vagina or vulva may indicate melanoma. Both vaginal and vulval melanomas are rare and more common in women over fifty. If you notice a new patch of discolouration of skin, whether it be darker or lighter, painful or painless then make an appointment with your GP for assessment. If necessary they will refer you to a specialist clinic for further investigation.
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