Female Genital Dermatology

 Female genital dermatology is the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of conditions associated with the vulva, or external female genitalia.

Female genital dermatology is the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of conditions associated with the vulva, or external female genitalia. Patients can experience discomfort and find the problem impacts their day to day life. It can often be an area untreated as patients find it difficult and embarrassing to talk about. For some women it can be an issue which has been ongoing for quite some time because of misdiagnosis or an unknown allergy to the prescribed treatment. 

Patient symptoms can vary from mild to severe & can include: 

  • Pain 

  • Itching 

  • Burning 

  • Ulcers 

  • Changes in vaginal discharge  

  • Lumps 

  • Swelling 

  • Sores  

  • Dyspareunia 

  • Bleeding 

  • Stenosis  

  • Bruising  


Why Choose Dr Liz? 

Dr Liz is a highly educated and passionate Dermatologist specialising in female genital dermatology. She runs a female genital dermatology clinic at Northern Sydney Dermatology and Concord Hospital. She is a lecturer in Vulval Dermatology for the Sexual Health & Family Planning Association. Dr Liz is highly sort after for her knowledge and expertise in female genital dermatology and often speaks at conferences. She is also the NSW chief Examiner and sits on the National Examination Committee.  

Dr Liz provides her patients with the best dermatological care. She ensures patients feel comfortable during consultation, and is always willing to discuss their concerns and symptoms. She focuses on each patient’s individual needs in a professional and respectful manner.   

 A Practical Introductory Guide For Medical Practitioners In Women's Health Services by Dr Elizabeth Dawes-Higgs  This book is based on a lecture series Dr Liz has been presenting as part of the National Certificate in Reproductive & Sexual Health for Doctors since 2014.

A Practical Introductory Guide For Medical Practitioners In Women's Health Services
by Dr Elizabeth Dawes-Higgs

This book is based on a lecture series Dr Liz has been presenting as part of the National Certificate in Reproductive & Sexual Health for Doctors since 2014.


FEMALE GENITAL DERMATOLOGY CONDITIONS:

Lichen sclerosus

Lichen Sclerosus is a skin condition affecting the skin, particularly the vulva and anus. It is most common in menopausal women but can occur in young women too. White, thick and crinkled patches on the skin occur which can cause scarring. Lichen Sclerosis is thought to be an auto-immune disease which can lead to a risk of developing cancer in the affected skin. The appropriate treatment and diagnosis is important to reducing symptoms and the risk of developing vulval cancer.   

Symptoms associated with Lichen Sclerosus include: 

  • Itching 

  • Burning 

  • White spots 

  • Dyspareunia 

  • Bleeding 

  • Stenosis  

  • Bruising  

  • Blisters  

Treatment options: 

  • Topical corticosteroid preparations 

  • Steroid medication  

  • Retinoids or vitamins 

  • Tacrolimus ointment 

  • Ultraviolet light treatments  


Chronic Vulvovaginal Candidiasis

Vulvovaginal candidiasis is the most common vulval symptom affecting women. This can be chronic if it occurs multiple times over a brief period. There are a few different pathogens which can cause these symptoms, but they don’t all respond to the same prescribed treatment. Appropriate diagnosis and treatment is fundamental in the treatment of chronic vulvovaginal candidiasis. Allergies to the prescribed treatment may also result in unresolved symptoms or the condition getting worse.     

Symptoms include:  

  • Itching 

  • Irritation 

  • Burning 

  • Dyspareunia  

  • Abnormal discharge 

  • Swelling of the vulva 

Treatment options: 

  • Anti-fungal topical preparations 

  • Anti-fungal oral medication  


Vulval cancer

Vulval cancer commonly occurs between the labia minora, the labia majora and the perineum. Vulval cancer affects 300 Australian women each year, two-thirds of which develop vulval cancer caused by lichen sclerosus.  

Symptoms include:

  • Itching 

  • Skin changes 

  • Bleeding 

  • Pain 

  • Lumps 

  • Ulcers 

  • Lesions  

Causes:

  • Skin conditions 

  • Precancerous conditions 

  • Smoking  

Treatments options:

  • Surgery  

  • Radiotherapy  

  • Chemotherapy