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Women's Health

Small Cuts on Labia Minor

03/26/2010

Question:

I recently noticed some light pain on one of my labia minors, so I checked to see why it hurt. I found some small cuts (I guess would be a good way to explain). They look more like paper cuts along the edge so it goes in. Like running finger across your lips and it indents- like that. could this be from chaffing or having sex and it being to dry down there? If not what could cause that? I`m kind of nervous about it.

Answer:

Small breaks in the skin along the edge of the vaginal opening are called fissures.  They are usually caused by friction or chafing, and are more likely to occur when the skin is dry or thin.  Estrogen cream, which can make the skin around the vagina thicker and less delicate, may be useful to prevent this problem if it is causing discomfort or difficulty with intercourse.

Rarely, small breaks in the skin that result from herpes infection can resemble fissures.  So if there is any concern about contracting a sexually transmitted infection, it would be best to have the lesion examined by a clinician.

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Response by:

Jonathan  A Schaffir, MD Jonathan A Schaffir, MD
Clnical Assistant Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University