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(vŭl-vīt′ĭs) [vulva + -itis] Inflammation of the vulva.

acute nongonorrheal v. Vulvitis resulting from chafing of the opposed lips of the vulva, nonvenereal infection, or accumulation of sebaceous matter around the clitoris.

desquamative v. Erosion or scarring of the vulva as a result of immunological or blistering conditions, such as contact dermatitis, lichen planus, lupus, or squamous cell carcinoma.

follicular v. Inflammation of the hair follicles of the vulva.

gangrenous v. Necrosis and sloughing of areas of the vulva, often a complication of infectious diseases such as diphtheria, scarlatina, herpes genitalis, or typhoid fever.

leukoplakic v. Lichen sclerosis et atrophicus.

mycotic v. Vulvitis caused by various fungi, most commonly Candida albicans.

plasma cellularis v., plasma cell vulvitis Inflammation and edema of the vulva, with infiltration of the upper dermis by plasma cells and other inflammatory cells. This rare, benign condition causes itching, burning, and discomfort during sex or urination. The vulvitis is characterized by macular patches with sharply defined borders on the inside of the vulva near the vagina. Biopsy is recommended to rule out infection, lichen planus or vulvar neoplasia (plasma cells are found on biopsy). Topical corticosteroids or, occasionally, antibiotic creams are used to treat the infection. Excision or other destructive procedures may be helpful but do not prevent recurrences of the vulvitis. SYN: Zoon’s vulvitis.

vulvo-, vulv-

[L. volva, vulva, covering, womb] Prefixes meaning covering, vulva.


(vŭl″vō-kroo′răl) [L. vulva, covering, + cruralis, pert. to the leg] Pert. to the vulva and thigh.


(vŭl″vŏ-din′ē-ă) [vulvo- + -odynia] Nonspecific vulvar pain of unknown cause. Common complaints include sporadic pain, dyspareunia, and pruritus. A provisional diagnosis is based on the patient’s symptoms, and an absence of any other vulvovaginal or systemic pathology. Palliative treatment is individualized; some women report relief of symptoms with an oxalate-restricted diet. SYN: vestibulodynia. SEE: vaginitis; candidal vaginitis; vulvar pruritus; vulvar vestibulitis syndrome.

 The Vulvar Pain Foundation provides information and support for women with vulvodynia. Address: P.O. Box 4177, Graham, NC 27253; Telephone: 336-226-0704; website:

PATIENT CARE: The health care professional encourages the woman to express her feelings and concerns. Careful review of the woman’s history focuses on identifying coexisting disorders, and noting those factors or events that preceded the symptoms and those that increase or decrease symptoms. Instruction for the patient’s palliative self-care emphasizes personal hygiene, including care of the vulva, e.g., avoiding tight clothing, wearing 100% cotton underwear, using tampons and pads correctly; using hypoallergenic detergents; avoiding chemical irritants; reducing stress; identifying and treating infections; and offering local topical anesthetics. Other ...

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