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What Are the Common Causes of a Flaky Vagina?

By Erin J. Hill
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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The most common cause of a flaky vagina are related to allergic reactions and skin conditions such as dermatitis. An allergic reaction can occur in response to one of many allergens or irritants. Sometimes other skin conditions many also cause flaky skin in the vagina, although most skin conditions are also caused by similar underlying issues as those which cause allergies. Additional symptoms may also be present.

Allergic reactions are the most common cause of a flaky vagina. These can be caused by a wide range of substances or materials. Laundry detergents, soap, douches, and feminine hygiene products are also potential causes of an allergic reaction of the vagina. To avoid them, women should refrain from using scented products near the vagina. This also includes feminine sprays and scented toilet paper.

Additional symptoms are also typically present during an allergic reaction. These may include itching, scaling, redness, and vaginal discharge. Hives and other skin eruptions may also be present. In the case of an allergic reaction, any sources of irritation should be removed from the area immediately. A doctor should also be consulted to determine the best type of treatment to alleviate symptoms.

Dermatitis is another potential cause of a flaky vagina. This is a skin condition which causes itching and dry skin. When skin becomes too dry, it is prone to flaking and scaling. The constant moisture of the vagina may actually make dermatitis worse if it becomes severe. Skin creams and other treatments may be needed to ease symptoms and alleviate dryness.

It is important for women to keep a close watch on their symptoms since many signs caused by conditions which cause a flaky vagina may also be typical of certain other conditions. Sexually transmitted diseases may also cause hives, itching, vaginal discharge, and redness around the vagina and vulva.

Sometimes it may be difficult to determine the source of an allergic reaction. Anything with fragrance should be ruled out first, followed by any other products or items which may have come in contact with the vagina. In some cases, a flaky vagina may be caused by spermicidal jellies, underwear, sanitary napkins or tampons, soaps, and even certain fabrics or fibers. If symptoms persist after all known potential sources of irritation are removed, a doctor should be notified immediately.

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Discussion Comments
By anon935151 — On Feb 24, 2014

I started having peeling and dryness and my partner looks to have the same problem. I went to the doctor and we do not have an STD, but are wondering what is causing or if it is contagious?

By anon344710 — On Aug 11, 2013

I've been noticing all around my entrance that the skin peels off. It looks like cotton balled up all around it. I'm guessing it's a yeast infection (had a little bit of itching, nothing terribly bad) so I will be starting the proper steps to remedy that. I just got a little scared when I noticed that.

By SteamLouis — On Sep 26, 2012

@SarahGen-- I don't think this is usually seen with STDs, not that I know of anyway. It's usually a dermatological problem, it could also be a fungal infection.

Have you seen a doctor? You really need to if you haven't yet. The doctor needs to look at it and maybe run a few tests to see what it is. He or she will probably prescribe some cortisone cream or if there is a fungal infection, anti-fungal cream.

Definitely reconsider all of the products you're using. It's probably an allergy from the vaginal cleanser. But if the flakiness and itching doesn't go away, make sure your laundry detergent, pads and clothing is not the culprit as well.

By SarahGen — On Sep 25, 2012

@turkay1-- Did you get itching too? I think if the flakiness is from allergies, it usually also causes itching. When there is no itching, I think it's dermatitis.

I have vaginal dermatitis right now and it's so uncomfortable. I think it's from the vaginal cleanser I got last week. I wish I hadn't used it. I already have dry skin and this cleanser dried it so much more that my skin is now flaking. I keep putting lotion and baby rash cream on it, I hope it goes back to normal soon.

Just out of curiosity, can a sexually transmitted disease cause a flaky vagina?

By candyquilt — On Sep 24, 2012

I developed flakiness on the skin of my vagina last month and went to the gynecologist. She checked it out and said that it's dermatitis. She asked me if I use panty liners and I told her I dp. She suggested that I stop using them because they may be causing an allergic reaction.

I took her advice and stopped using the panty liners and the flakiness disappeared within a matter of days! I guess I was allergic to something in the liners, either the material or the perfume that was used. I would have never thought that the panty liners could do that. I'm glad I got that resolved because I was worried that I had a serious condition.

By anon275004 — On Jun 15, 2012

I think I've had an allergic reaction to a different type of soap and detergent. This article was very helpful.

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