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Vaginal Appearance: Discolouration and Uneven Labia

Written by: Becki Murray

Updated by: Becki Murray

Last Updated: 1 February 2024

To cut straight to the point, there probably isn’t anything ‘wrong’ with the appearance of your vagina – both in terms of discolouration or the perceived unevenness of your labia. Every vagina looks slightly different in terms of colour and shape, and that’s nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about. However, considering that you’ve landed on this page, you probably aren’t totally happy with how your intimate area looks and that’s also perfectly acceptable too. Read our FAQs to discover why there really isn’t one ‘normal-looking’ vaginal appearance to aspire towards, and to find out more about the confidence and function-boosting treatments and therapies that could help you if you are considering ways to address vaginal discolouration or uneven labia. As with all intimate rejuvenation treatments, just ensure you go to a suitably trained expert to help you achieve the best possible results, as safely as possible.

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What is a ‘normal’ vagina meant to look like?

There really isn’t any overarching standard for what your vagina should look like beyond its necessary anatomical features, because everyone is unique. That means your vagina’s appearance can vary depending on genetics, age, hormones and, of course, your individual preferences too.

For example, the size, shape, and color of the labia minora and majora can vary widely among individuals. Some people have prominent or elongated labia, while others may have smaller, more tucked-in labia. At the same time, the natural colour of the vagina can range from pink to reddish-brown, with hormonal changes, pregnancy, and individual differences influencing the pigmentation over time.

What is a ‘normal’ labia appearance?

There’s no such thing as a ‘normal’ labia. In fact, both the labia majora (outer lips) and labia minora (inner lips) can vary widely in terms of size, shape, colour, and overall appearance.

For example, the labia minora can be long or short, and they may extend beyond or be concealed by the labia majora. The labia majora can be plump or flat, and it’s also common for one side of the labia to be slightly larger or differently shaped than the other. Texture can also be different between individuals, with some people’s labia being smooth and others slightly wrinkled. Finally, the clitoral hood can vary in size and coverage too.

What is vaginal discolouration?

Vaginal discoloration refers to any changes in the colour of the skin or tissues in the vaginal area. The natural colour of the vagina can vary among individuals, typically ranging from pink to reddish-brown so ‘discolouration’ may manifest slightly differently for everyone. However, it tends to refer to changes in hue, intensity or pigmentation, which can occur for various reasons, with both temporary and longer-term consequences.

What are the symptoms of vagina discolouration?

Below are some common characteristics of vagina discolouration. Most of them should not be cause for anything more than cosmetic concern (if that), although if they are accompanied by other symptoms like itching, burning, abnormal bleeding, or unusual discharge, it’s advisable to consult with your doctor to rule out a medical issue.

Increased redness or pinkness: Increased blood flow, swelling or inflammation in the vaginal area can lead to a more reddish or pinkish hue.

Darkening of colour: Darkening of the skin in the genital area can also occur, mainly due to hormonal changes over time. The colour of the labia minora and majora can undergo changes too.

Blotchiness: Uneven pigmentation due to certain conditions or infections can lead to a blotchy vaginal appearance.

Skin changes: Changes in the texture, thickness, or appearance of the vaginal area may be present alongside colour differences.

What are the symptoms of an abnormal labia?

As mentioned, the general aesthetic appearance of your labia is totally individual. However, when it comes to poor labia health, there are some symptoms that you might want to be aware about. These include:

Swelling or redness: Swelling of the labia, redness or the presence of a rash may indicate inflammation, infection, or an allergic reaction. The same is true for any pain or discomfort in the labial area.

Itching or lesions: Itching or irritation of the labial skin can be a symptom of conditions like yeast infections, contact dermatitis, or other skin disorders. The presence of sores or lesions on the labia may be indicative of certain infections or STIs as well.

Abnormal discharge or bleeding: Changes in the colour, consistency, or odour of vaginal discharge may be associated with infections affecting the labia. Unexplained bleeding, especially if not related to menstruation, needs to be raised with your doctor too.

Changes in Colour: Noticeable changes in labia colour, especially if accompanied by other symptoms, may also be cause for further investigation.

What can cause vaginal discolouration?

  1. Age-related changes: Ageing can bring about natural changes in skin colour and tone, including skin darkening in the vaginal area.
  2. Hormonal changes: Hormonal fluctuations, especially changes in oestrogen levels, can influence the colour of the vaginal tissues. For example, during pregnancy, increased blood flow and hormonal shifts may lead to changes in colour.
  3. Infections: Yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis can cause changes in the colour of vaginal discharge, which may affect the overall appearance of the vagina.
  4. Inflammatory conditions: Inflammatory skin conditions, like lichen sclerosus or eczema, can cause changes in skin colour, texture, and overall appearance of the genitals.
  5. Irritation or allergic reactions: Contact with irritants or allergens, such as certain soaps, detergents, or fabrics, can lead to inflammation and discolouration.
  6. Skin disorders: Certain skin disorders or pigmentation issues may affect the colour of the vaginal area too.

Can I get rid of vaginal discolouration?

Some degree of variation in vaginal colour is totally normal especially over time, and you shouldn’t feel you need to get rid of any perceived discolouration. However, if you do want to change the appearance of your vagina, the most important consideration is to do so safely and to ensure you discuss any significant or concerning changes in the colour of your vagina with your doctor.

The best approach for treating vaginal discolouration also depends on the underlying cause. Anything relating to infection, inflammation or another condition should be addressed with the help of medical attention, whereas cosmetic concerns due to age-related or hormonal factors (which don’t necessarily need treating) can increasingly be improved by aesthetic tweakments.

What tweakments are available for vaginal discolouration?

Treatments for vaginal discoloration are increasingly being discussed and made available in clinic, giving those concerned about the issue more choices. However, you should always do your research before booking in, and it is incredibly important that your chosen practitioner is suitably trained both in your chosen tweakment and in treating the intimate area to ensure your safety throughout.
  1. Laser treatments: Laser treatments for vaginal discolouration tend to use a fractional laser specifically designed for intimate areas. Focusing on addressing skin darkening and pigmentation irregularities, the laser emits precise beams of light that heat and remove excess pigmentation. It can also stimulate collagen production to improve overall texture and tone.
  2. Skin peels: Skin peels involve the application of a chemical solution, which exfoliates dead, dull skin cells from the outer layers of the skin. They can be used to address pigmentation irregularities on the outer genital areas, but a suitable formula must be used for this sensitive skin.
  3. Radiofrequency: With options for both external and internal treatment of the vaginal area, radiofrequency (RF) treatments use the heat generated by radiofrequency energy to stimulate collagen production and improve skin tone. This can help improve the overall look and feel of the vagina.
  4. Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP): PRP therapy involves a practitioner using your own blood plasma, which is rich in growth factors, to stimulate tissue regeneration and improve skin appearance. It can be injected or applied topically to help tackle discolouration in the vaginal area.

When should I see a doctor about vaginal discolouration?

If you are concerned about vaginal discolouration, it is best to avoid trying to self-diagnose or self-treat without the help of a doctor who can perform a thorough examination. In particular, if discolouration is related to a vaginal infection, you may be prescribed medication, and inflammatory conditions may require topical or oral anti-inflammatories.

Can I improve vaginal discolouration with skincare?

Although it can be tempting to use your existing ‘brightening’ skincare products to counteract vaginal discolouration as an at-home solution, it’s important not to use anything not designed for the sensitive genital area. In fact, as discolouration can be caused by irritation, you really should only use mild, fragrance-free products around your vagina, including any cleansers or moisturisers. For significant discolouration, your doctor may prescribe some lightening creams, with ingredients such as hydroquinone, but these should be used under specific guidance only. Limiting shaving or waxing for a while can also help with irritation-based discolouration, as can wearing loose-fitting underwear to minimise friction.

What tweakments are available for uneven labia?

As with vaginal discolouration, more options than ever are now available for non-surgically treating uneven labia. But, it is also just as important that alongside choosing the right treatment for you, you also ensure that you book in with a suitably trained and qualified expert in intimate rejuvenation of this nature.

  1. Laser treatments: Laser treatments, such as laser labiaplasty, use laser technology to reshape or tighten the labial tissues. It is designed as a less invasive option to surgery.
  2. Dermal Fillers: Dermal fillers can be used to add volume to specific areas of the labia, addressing asymmetry or volume loss. However, it is paramount that only very experienced practitioners use fillers in the genital area.
  3. Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP): The growth factor-rich plasma of your blood utilised by PRP treatments can also be used to stimulate tissue regeneration of the labia, helping enhance its appearance and texture.
  4. Fat Transfer: By harvesting fat from one part of the body and injecting it into the labia, a very skilled practitioner can enhance volume and symmetry in the area using fat transfer.
  5. Thread Lifts: Thread lifts involve using dissolvable threads to lift and tighten sagging or asymmetrical tissues, meaning it can sometimes be an option for improving labia appearance.

Are there surgical treatments for an uneven labia?

The most common surgical procedure for uneven labia is labiaplasty. Labiaplasty involves the surgical reshaping or resizing of the labia minora (inner lips) or, less commonly, the labia majora (outer lips). It can be performed to address discomfort caused by enlarged or asymmetrical labia, as well as to achieve a more symmetrical appearance.

How much, on average, would treating uneven labia cost?

Treating uneven labia can certainly be a financial investment. If you opt for surgical procedures such as labiaplasty, it is likely to cost upwards of £5000-£8000, with most suitable tweakments, such as laser labiaplasty, dermal filler, PRP and thread lifts, also costing in the thousands for a full course of treatment. You should also factor in the need for a suitably trained practitioner, particularly an expert in labia procedures, which will increase the price.

How much, on average, would treating vaginal discolouration cost?

The cost of treating vaginal discoloration can vary widely, starting with topical treatments and prescription creams. These tend to be the most affordable option, but they may offer more minimal results. You should also expect to pay more than having tweakments in other areas of the face and body, with laser treatments, skin peels, radiofrequency and PRP needing to be tailored to the sensitive vaginal area. This may require a series of sessions for optimal results, which will add to the overall cost, and you also want to be seen by an expert in intimate rejuvenation, who is likely to have the price tag to match.

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