Why is The Vaginal Area Dark

Skin darkening and general hyperpigmentation are relatively common issues that can arise due to sun exposure and age. Most women won’t bat an eye when they develop a tan or sunspots. But darkening in more sensitive areas that don’t typically see the light of day often becomes a source of worry and low self-esteem.

Having a dark vaginal area usually isn’t a health concern. It’s normal for women of all complexions to experience darkening around the vulva and other intimate areas. However, the extent of the darkening varies, and the color change can worsen over time.


Causes of Dark Vaginal Area 

While this issue is normal, there are several potential reasons why women develop a dark vaginal area. Biologically, it’s a form of hyperpigmentation. It’s typically a byproduct of increased melanin production and accumulation in the area. There are a few common reasons why this occurs.



Friction can lead to skin-darkening on any part of the body, but it’s particularly common around the genital area. Increased friction often leads to hyperactivity in melanocytes, the cells that produce melanin pigment. When the melanocytes produce more pigment, it accumulates in the area and causes a darkening effect.

Women can experience daily friction in many ways. Sometimes, it’s due to ill-fitting underwear or tight clothing. In other cases, walking, running, and exercising can cause friction on the inner thighs and vulva. Even sexual activity can lead to increased friction that ultimately causes hyperpigmentation.



Shaving can also be a source of a dark vaginal area. Using a razor on sensitive body parts often leads to irritation and an inflammatory response. When that occurs, you may experience post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. It’s the same type of darkening that can occur after a pimple heals.

Some women also experience irritation and inflammation as new growth comes in. There’s also a risk that chemicals in shaving creams or lotions exacerbate the skin’s response.



Hormonal changes may be to blame for developing a dark vaginal area, too. While your entire body has pigment-producing melanocytes, those around the vulva can be particularly sensitive to hormones. The same goes for other sensitive areas around the nipple and anus.

Melanin production can kick into overdrive whenever your body experiences an increase in estrogen and progesterone. This change may occur during pregnancy or menopause. Many also experience skin changes when they’re on birth control.



Finally, skin darkening is common with aging. Skin throughout your entire body changes the older you get. Its tone, texture and elasticity will evolve. Those changes aren’t limited to your face, arms and décolletage. The same occurs with the skin in the vaginal area. Pair that with more repeated friction-based trauma and the hormonal changes that happen with menopause, and darkening becomes more common with age.


RELATED: Vagial Atrophy Treatment Options


Dark Vaginal Area Lightening

Developing a dark vaginal area is normal for women of all ages, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for it. Despite its prevalence, discoloration can become a source of shame and make many self-conscious about their bodies. For that reason, genital bleaching and lightening treatments are becoming more common.

Genital lightening is a safe way to address skin darkening, and many options are available. Because discoloration can vary in intensity, it’s important to consult an expert like Dr. Tahery to determine the best course of action. 

One of the most common treatments is topical bleaching. It’s a gradual process that can be effective for many women. Prescription products in varying strengths reduce melanin in the skin while blocking biological processes that cause further hyperpigmentation. 

Dr Tahery has developed bleaching creams that are designed to treat the most delicate and sensitive parts of the body. These special bleach creams are safe and highly effective for most skin types and regions of the body.

Other options include peels and lasers. Laser treatments use high-intensity light pulses that penetrate the skin and target melanin.

When you’re ready to discuss your options and finally address your dark vaginal area, turn to Dr. Michael Tahery. Dr. Tahery has over 25 years of experience helping women like you in and around Los Angeles. As a urogynecologist, board-certified OB/GYN, and a recognized expert in cosmetic vaginal surgery, Dr. Tahery has the expertise to find a solution for your unique needs. Dr. Tahery provides individualized care and employs multiple techniques for genital skin lightening, helping you get the results you’re after regardless of your skin tone. Reach out to our offices today to schedule your consultation and learn more with Dr. Tahery.