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Open sores on the vagina can indicate a number of conditions. These sores may be itchy, painful or have no sensation at all. Sores sometimes break open and leak a pus-like fluid. Other times, they resemble bug bites. In addition to physical discomfort, genital sores can cause embarrassment. Still, it’s important to get these symptoms checked out and treated.
Two STDs are common causes of open sores on the vagina:
Other causes of vaginal sores include allergic reactions, bug bites, ingrown hairs or shaving irritation.
STD testing can diagnose vaginal sores. A blood-based STD test for genital herpes and syphilis can diagnose these infections, even when symptoms are absent. A doctor can diagnose genital warts based on a physical exam and a Pap smear. Since STDs are often mistaken for less serious conditions, it’s important to have screening performed if there has ever been a possible exposure.
A proper diagnosis is the first step in treating vaginal sores. Antiviral medication can reduce herpes outbreaks, while genital warts can be removed via surgery. When detected early, syphilis can be cured with antibiotics and have no permanent repercussions. Treating open vaginal sores, regardless of the diagnosis, is important; when exposed to the HIV virus, open sores can facilitate transmission, making it easier to contract the virus.