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INFLAMMATION OF THE VULVA
Category: Diseases of Women
(Vulvitis). An acute or chronic inflammation
of the vulva (external genitals) either from a specific, like gonorrhoea,
or non-specific cause.
Causes. Veit says, "Seventy-five per cent of the cases are caused by
Other Causes. Accumulation and decomposition of discharges from the womb
and vagina, inflammation of the inner lining of the womb and of the
vagina. Foul, putrid discharges from neglected supports (pessaries) and
tampons in the vagina; sloughings from cancer may act as exciting causes.
Contact with ammoniacal and sugar urines has a similar effect.
In Infants. It is usually due to want of cleanliness in failing to remove
decomposing urine and feces. Mothers often allow soiled, foul smelling
diapers to remain for a long time on the baby.
Symptoms and Condition of the Parts. In the acute stage the mucous
membrane around the opening of the vagina is red, swollen, painful and
bathed in pus. The glands in the groin and glands of Bartholin are usually
enlarged and tender. The glands of Bartholin and those around the urethra
may become infected and fill with pus. The fatty glands of the labia
majora are also sometimes affected and then appears the disease called
Follicular Vulvitis (in the chronic stage secretion is abundant). The
parts feel hot and there is more or less burning and itching. Walking
makes the trouble worse, due to rubbing of the parts. Passing of urine
increases the distress.
When the disease is caused by gonorrhoea it is more extensive and involves
the vagina, urethra, the glands around the urethra and glands of
Bartholin. This gland infection frequently results in an abscess.
Treatment. In the acute form the patient should go to bed and remain
there for some time. The parts should be kept constantly moist with a wet
antiseptic dressing, listerine, hot water, etc., applied to the vulva and
1. If there is much pain the following solution may be used:
Acetate of lead 1 dram
Laudanum 1/2 ounce
Water enough for six ounces.
Mix and apply constantly with sterile cloths.
2. For chronic form Dr. Child says, "The vulva should be shaved, thoroughly
cleansed and a mild ointment applied daily thereafter," such as:
Salicylic acid 20 grains
Oxide of zinc 2 drams
Petrolatum enough for 1 ounce
Mix and make an ointment and apply daily.
If it is due to irritating discharges that cannot be checked, cleanse the
parts thoroughly and use the Zinc ointment to protect.
Next: ITCHING OF THE VULVA
Previous: Venereal diseases