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  • Relief for genital sores ?

    I'm posting on behalf of a young member who is suffering a very painful recurrence of genital sores that isn't responding this time to treatment with Savlon ( a UK antiseptic cream)
    She doesn't see her rheumy until October and is reluctant to visit her GP who is ineffectual and uncaring although she realises she might have to if it doesn't get better.
    Meanwhile she would really appreciate advice on how to reduce the discomfort and better still get rid of them.
    This can't be STD related and isn't anything like thrush which she is familar with.

    Apart from the malar rash, she doesn't have any other lupus skin problems, and is on Plaquenil 400mgs a day, enalapril and an NSAID.

    Last edited by Clare.T; 07-31-2008, 11:45 AM. Reason: typos

  • #2
    Hi Clare,
    She has my sympathies.
    I wonder if her pharmacist could suggest anything, like Lanacane, an antiseptic and anaesthetising gel to both protect and sooth the skin.
    Otherwise I can't help


    • #3
      (Let me know by forum PM if I have forgotten anything). I'll put down what I suggested in our chat so other members can comment on my suggestions. I did forget to mention that you are in the UK.

      First, lupus can cause genital sores just like mouth and nasal sores, and discoid lupus can affect that area too. I have no idea if it is possible to have discoid lupus down there without having it anywhere else. The emergence of these sores just might suggest worsening disease and the need for additional treatment albeit maybe only a short course of Prednisone. Even if they do clear up you need to mention it to your rheumy when you next see him so put it on your list now
      Perhaps it isn't lupus but you've been unlucky enough to develop some quite separate condition not directly related to lupus and I don't even know if having lupus makes them more likely.
      I do think that going to a GUM or STD clinic could be a way of identifying what they are, even if they definitely haven't been sexually transmitted.
      The specialist doctors must have a good idea of similar conditions and also could help with ways of relieving them.

      I googled (STD clinics ( name of your locality)) and saw there are several and also learnt that if you go directly anonymity is assured whereas if you go via the GP they will report back to him and then your visit is recorded.
      I think that's what I might do in the circs.and if questioned, I'd pretend I thought I just might have got it off a loo seat or something and needed assurance that it definitely wasn't STD related. I should think they are understanding and sympathetic and must hear many a weird tale and many very anxious people.

      Because you are in the UK and would need a GP referral to see a dermy and then most likely have to wait 2/3 months for the appointment to come through there's not much point suggesting a dermy unless you can go privately but even then you would most likely need a GP referral. That's something you could check out if it is at all financially possible.

      About getting relief I suggest trying nappy cream because it can be used safely on open skin and the zinc oxide is healing. Generally speaking anything that's sold for babies is about as safe as you can get if used correctly. I haven't experienced ulcers but I regularly use it for minor discomforts like chafing and general soreness. I might try working in a little tee tree oil for added healing power and antiseptic, but do a little test patch first to make sure you aren't one of the rare people who have an allergic reaction to it.
      Some of the creams used for piles or genital itching might be suitably protective and have anesthetic properties too but read the instructions and use very carefully and check with pharmacist first.
      I wouldn't use vaseline myself because I've read that it occludes air and thus favours infection
      Otherwise I can only suggest avoiding any restrictive garments like tights no nylon underwear to keep as much air flow as possible using only cool water for personal hygiene, wiping backwards and using wet wipes even special antiseptic ones to reduce risk of infection, and no detergents for underwear laundry.
      I hope somebody will have more first hand information for you though I am sorry for them if they do. It's most unpleasant.

      Lots of Luck and Hugs

      Last edited by Clare.T; 07-31-2008, 12:46 PM. Reason: numerous typos


      • #4

        I don't know if this exists in the UK. I think it does, but I have found that Calendua cream (it's a homepathic based cream) is extremely effective. It is healing (cicatrisant - sorry that's French) but yet is not drying which is very unusual for a cream to combine both. It is great on any type of sore that won't heal, can be applied to broken, burned or chaffed skin and doesn't sting. It is a lot more effective than savlon.

        I presume that the UK product is the same as ours.

        I would try that without any hesitation even in such a "delicate" place.



        • #5
          Yes Katharine Calendula is available OTC in the UK.
          We use it for very sore babies bottoms or cracked nipples of breastfeeding mums even on broken skin. Good idea


          • #6
            Aloe Vera is good for cooling and soothing properties.

            Health shops sell 'Jasons' Aloe vera and its 99% Aloe.

            Personally I do comibine a mild cream with cortisoid/steroid properties that you can buy from a chemist but must use infrequently and the aloe vera combi..

            Other than that I would ask to speak to a nurse at your local GP practice. They deal with these kind of things and should make you feel comfortable.



            • #7
              I get those too. But I use ABREVA. It is expensive here in the US but it works. It's for herpes sores and fever blisters.


              • #8
                I am surprised that nobody has suggested the gynocologist.

                I get vaginal sores when I am flaring really badly. Mine are caused by something similar to a yeast infection in the genital hair folicles.

                My Gyno has me use bee's wax cream (its 100% pure) not sure if you can get it in UK, I have to masage it in.

                Gross as it sounds I also buy plain youghurt and put it on a feminine napkin then wear it when I lay in bed at night...not too long though as it creates a horrible smell (sorry don't mean to be gross).

                Anyway, I would not use any remedies no matter what they are until a medical professional has determined what they are.

                If it isn't a yeast based issue, the yoghurt will make it spread or get infected worse. The bee's wax will trap in infection if thats what it is, and some of the others might cause other issues. If it is an infection (mine have gotten that way from urine (thus the bee's wax) the gyno had me use polysporin (not any other) as it doesn't interact with the yeast like others might.

                Anyway...sorry for the long post, I truly do understand the pain and discomfort being experienced.

                SEE A GYNOCOLOGIST is my recommendation.

                Love Stephanie


                • #9
                  I would also recommend seeing a gyne, get the STD test and also the HPV test. I have had the ulcers for a few years now and thought it was autoimmune related, but I also found that I had HPV, which also causes them...I also get the sores in the mouth, so I think it is autoimmune related. Anyways, not much helps, but at least you will know that you don't have these other diseases that could also cause them. I recommend hot baths with epsom salt, using either the cream that comes with Monistat, Neosporin and lately, I have found that putting hydrogen peroxide on a cotton ball and soaking them for a few minutes makes them go away quicker. They are very painful.

                  Take care,


                  • #10
                    If she has actual sores (rather than just stinging feeling) then she needs to see a sexual health clinic, whether or not it is an STD. They do other things apart from std's.

                    Alternatively, is there a Family Planning Clinic that she could attend ? Again, a person doesn't necessarily have to be sexually active to attend such a clinic, and they could to the relevant tests for her.

                    Depending where she lives, a gyne may not be an option (where I live you need a referral from a gp to go to a gyne, and I think it is likely to be the same in the UK). We only use gyne's if the GP is not able to treat it, it is a second tiered system.

                    Genital sores should always be checked - I was checked out by a sexual health clinic when I had something that they thought could be vulvar cancer (it wasn't, just ordinary old thrush that needed some cream).


                    Last edited by Raglet; 08-01-2008, 05:00 AM.


                    • #11
                      I too get these sores, i have had them on and off years i have seen various gp's who all said it was herpes! the cream they prescribed was Aclivor it seemed t help or was it just time?? as they go away after a acouple of weeks.
                      However having now been at st thomas's for 10 yrs i finally plucked up the courage last year to tell my consultant, i hadn't before because i was too embarressed and ashamed at the thought of having herpes! i have been married to a loving faithful man for 18yrs!!!! but the gp said it can lie dormant for years before breaking out so i was mortified! Anyway when i mentioned it to him he had a look took the history ie it would more often than not break out prior to a period as did a flare, you can imagine my relief when he said it wasn't herpes atall but a condition ofl lupus ! he told me to up the pred b4 my period said i could continue the cream as it did help to cool things down and he also gave me aclivor tablets as i was havin a continuous run of sores, that was 10 months ago and since then touch wood havnt had a single outbreak since, even though have had flares and bad ones at that i have just come home from 2 weeks in hospital with costochondritis and a bad flare, had a catheter which caused massive u.t.i. and i thought oh my god here we go ...but nothing no sores! i dont know if it will be the same for you but you really need to let someone see the sores at their worst and keep a diary to see if there is a pattern to the outbreaks, i know its not nice but if it means respite from the dreaded things in the long run its well worth it, good luck
                      carol x


                      • #12
                        htis is a very interesting topic for me
                        i get cysts in my groin area sometimes they are very big and very sore
                        last time i saw g.p i showed one i had to her she said it was s subacious cyist i could get it cut out but it would take a long time to heal as it was just in the fold of skin in the groin
                        i never had anything like this before i started getting sick last year
                        what i usually do if they get to big and sore is lance them open
                        i know sounds bad but it take the infection away and i get some relief for a while


                        • #13

                          I think the temporary use of Calendular cream and the procucts used for babies nappy rash for comfort until you know what it is are the safest bets. You really do need somebody who knows what they are looking at to see it. It is a very sensitive area to be using some of the antiseptic creams out there, but I believe Lanacaine is useful and at least designed to be used on that area.

                          I remembered a very useful tip though.

                          When I had my last baby i was very uncomfortable and one of the nurses froze a saline sachet (ice pop shaped plastic sachet) and wrapped it up in a few layers of gauze for me to sit on the reduce inflmmation.

                          So long as it was well wrapped it was very helpful.It cooled the area, which stopped the throbbing, reduced the inflammation, and the itchiness. The secret, i found, was it being well wrapped so my skin stayed dry. I used it for about 20 minutes at a time when i thought i would scratch myself to bits or got fed up of the dragging achiness.

                          It is very embarrassing dealing with things like this, but your doctor or nurse will undoubtedly have seen far worse. They get these things themselves, too, after all!


                          • #14
                            I think that one really has to find out what sort of sores these are before trying to treat them. If they are Lupus ulcers then I was given Dermovate and it thankfully cleared them up in a few days. It (like any other cortisone cream) cannot be used for long periods and the smallest amount used the better. But if they aren't lupus related and there is any other sort of fungal or bacterial infection happening then using Dermovate would be disastrous. A prescription is needed for it anyway.

                            My sympathies, this is like torture :hug:



                            • #15
                              Another thing that it could be and i hope not is Lichen Sclerosis.....I have had it for years....and it is an auto immune illness of the skin, which affects the genital area....can't be caught....and babies can even have it....I'm afraiad you have to see a gyno, or skin specialist WHO KNOWS about LS......and doesn't just fob you off with thrush....cortisone cream and hormone cream is usually suggested......
                              if you are in UK then STD clinic will know about LS too and you will prob. get quicker trearment than waiting to go thru specialist ect.
                              Good luck I know how painful this can be