Hyperplasia is another word for excessive cell growth. Squamous means “covered with or characterized by scales.” Squamous cell hyperplasia is an abnormal growth on the skin of your vulva. It is a non-cancerous condition that affects your skin.Your vulva will look pinkish red and will have an overlying gray-white keratin. Keratin is a fibrous protein that forms the main structural component of hair, hooves, feathers, claws, horns, etc. Different cases of squamous cell hyperplasia will look different due to different levels of moisture, scratching, scrubbing, and medications.
Symptoms of Squamous Cell Hyperplasia
Squamous cell hyperplasia can be small and localized, wide and occurring in more than one area, and anywhere in between. If you have thick or raised areas on your vulva that may appear white, it could be a sign of a developing case of squamous cell hyperplasia. If you find yourself feeling an intense itch on your vulva, and start itching, scratching and scrubbing the affected area you may have this ailment. During your itching, if you feel thickened skin on your vulva that is hardening and turning white, you should go see a medical professional immediately to get checked and treated for squamous cell hyperplasia.
If you tend to engage in excessive or compulsive scratching of the skin on your vulva, whether it is due to general itchiness or a reaction to irritants your chances of developing or squamous cell hyperplasia this may contribute to your development of squamous cell hyperplasia. If you have certain skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis you have a higher chance of development.
Your doctor will talk with you about your medical history, especially your history with skin conditions like eczema. Then he or she will perform a physical examination. You will lie down with your feet in the stirrups, and your doctor will briefly check for squamous cell hyperplasia. If your doctor finds signs and symptoms of the disease or suspects you are developing it, they will perform tests to make an official diagnosis. Also known as a skin biopsy, a punch biopsy is a technique where a lesion of your skin is numbed and then removed to be sent to a pathologist. The pathologist will check your skin sample under microscope. This procedure is done under local anesthetic, and you will get results in 4 to 10 days. Your doctor may do a colposcopy. During a colposcopy, your doctor will use a binocular-like instrument known as a colposcope. Using a speculum, your doctor will increase the size of your vaginal canal temporarily; this allows him or her to have the best view of the inside of your vagina as possible. Your doctor will also examine your vulva with a colposcope. No anesthetic is needed for this type of diagnostic test, and you will know the results almost immediately since your doctor is analyzing your condition during the colposcopy.
Treatment for squamous cell hyperplasia is pretty straightforward. Because the problems that led you to this point were probably a combination of poor hygiene, using irritative substances near your vulva, and uncontrolled itching, the following changes will have to be implemented:
- Cream: You will be prescribed with a corticosteroid cream. You will need to apply this cream to your vulva daily (or several times per day) until your doctor instructs you to stop.
- Hygiene: You will need to practice good hygiene to prevent the worsening or recurrence of squamous cell hyperplasia. Your doctor will talk to you about proper hygiene techniques, such as wiping front to back and cleaning your body properly.
- No Soaps: Using soaps and perfumes in your genital area is a good way to irritate your skin. If you have squamous cell hyperplasia, you can’t afford to irritate your skin any more than it already is. Additionally, using soap or perfume in your genital area is never really a good idea. Soap and perfume can alter the bacteria levels in your vagina and cause a vaginal infection as well as vulvar irritation.
You can prevent squamous cell hyperplasia from happening to you by being diligent about your personal hygiene, being aware of excessive itching and skin development, and getting checked out by your doctor as soon as you notice anything abnormal down there.
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