Vestibular papillomatosis is topographic and morphologic flexibility in a woman’s vulvar epithelium, considered anatomically normal.
Sounds perplexing? Let’s look at a more accessible version of it!
Generally, vestibular papillomatosis represents skin-colored small bumps on the vulva, which is the outer part of the vagina. These patches or papillae appear on the inner folds of the vulva, the labia minora, or may also appear on the opening of the vagina called the vestibule. Further, the labia minora surrounds the vestibule.
In the meantime, despite their sensitive location, they are completely normal!
However, if you’re looking for its causes and symptoms, along with vestibular papillomatosis home treatment, stay with us till the end, as it will be our primary concern!
Table of Content
What Is Vestibular Papillomatosis?
Vestibular papillomatosis refers to a condition where tiny, skin-colored papules appear on the outer part of the vagina, the vulva. In addition, these are painless bumps on the vulva that aren’t itchy either.
Furthermore, the papillae can be round, oblong, or smooth projections, ranging from 1-2 millimetres in diameter. Also, they are considered entirely normal in a female’s genitalia.
Yet, researchers now know these are natural anatomical variants in around 33% of females’ genitals.
Causes of Vestibular Papillomatosis
Although the actual cause of vestibular papillomatosis is still unknown, it is considered genetically inherited.
Earlier, vestibular papillomatosis was believed to be an STD (sexually transmitted disease). Researchers used to associate it with human papillomavirus (HPV), a cervical cancer-causing virus.
Somehow, several studies have shown that it isn’t the case and doesn’t transmit from one person to another during intercourse.
Therefore, it is essential to know that vestibular papillomatosis isn’t an STD. Neither is it caused by having poor hygiene or sex.
Further, not every woman has this patchy appearance on her vulva. It is just a normal morphologic variation in a female’s genitalia; it is actually what a vulva can look like.
However, many women are naturally born with it.
Somehow, researchers still wonder why this occurs in some people and not in every woman.
Symptoms of Vestibular Papillomatosis
There are no visible and prominent symptoms of these shiny, skin-colored bumps, as they aren’t painful or contagious. Also, most women don’t even know that they have vestibular papillomatosis until or unless their doctors find it.
However, some women might suffer vestibular papillomatosis pain, a sense of vestibular papillomatosis irritation during sexual intercourse with their partners, or an itchy sensation when the vulva comes in contact with anything. However, it is due to another condition called vulvar vestibulitis, which sometimes coexists as vestibular papillomatosis.
Besides, vestibular papillomatosis is often mistaken for genital warts due to its multiple similarities. But know that there’s no association between the two of them!
Diagnosis of Vestibular Papillomatosis:
You can only diagnose these bumpy patches or papillae through clinical examination.
Moreover, your doctor should know about vestibular papillomatosis because these are often misdiagnosed as genital warts.
However, to differentiate between the correct diagnosis of vestibular papillomatosis and genital warts, you should know the following differences between the two;
|Clinical Features||Vestibular Papillomatosis||Genital Warts|
|Sites Involved||Confined to the vestibule accordingly||Not confined to the vestibule only, also can occur anywhere on the genitalia|
|Distribution||Symmetrical, linear array||Asymmetrical, further randomly arranged|
|Color||Pink as adjacent mucosa||Flesh-colored, pink, white, grey, or even hyperpigmented|
|Palpation or Consistency||Soft||Firm to hard|
|5% Acetic Acid Test||No whitening||Whitening present (circumscribed)|
|Base||Individual lesions remain separate at the base||Individual lesions fuse at the base|
|Shape of Individual Lesion||Teardrop shaped||Broccoli, or even cauliflower-shaped|
|Surface||Smooth and shiny||Rough and irregular|
|Dermoscopic Findings||Abundant, distinctive linear vascular channels in transparent core of uniform-sized cylindrical papillae, along with separate bases||Conglomerate vascular structures, secondly inconsistent projections with tapering ends that are broader and whiter than vestibule papillae, along with a fused base.|
|Histopathology||Normal mucosal epithelium covering finger-like protrusion of loose connective tissue. Also, some vacuolated cells resembling koilocytes are present.||Large epithelial cells with perinuclear vacuolization and hyperchromatic. Furthermore, there is the presence of koilocytes.|
However, if your diagnosis comes as vestibular papillomatosis, know that it is benign. Further, it isn’t cancer, and neither will turn into cancer.
In addition, it has no association with sexually transmitted diseases (STD). Therefore, it couldn’t be passed on or picked up during sexual intercourse!
Vestibular Papillomatosis Treatment: How Do You Get Rid of Vestibular Papillomatosis?
Specifically, vestibular papillomatosis is a rare condition that can occur at any age in a woman. Further, it does not pose any severe issue or danger or cause harm to the woman. Therefore, there’s no need for treatment in most cases!
However, misdiagnosing papillae with warts can lead you to undergo several treatment procedures, which may create anxiety and unnecessary expenses.
Somehow, some good treatment options for genital warts are;
- Prescription ointment
- Chemical removal
- Loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP)
Top 4 Vestibular Papillomatosis Home Treatment Methods:
Vestibular papillomatosis is entirely safe. However, some women still opt for home remedies and ways of getting rid of them when these papillae interfere during sexual intercourse.
Nevertheless, your doctor will remove them, but they might come back later.
Although these bumps aren’t painful, sometimes they might get very itchy and cause bleeding like those of genital warts. For this reason, many women try home remedy-vestibular papillomatosis treatment at home to get rid of it. Let’s look at them!
Vestibular Papillomatosis: Cream:
Papillae are usually treated with different corticosteroid ointments. Therefore, try anti-itching ointments like salicylic acid topical on the bumps.
Sometimes, it might get worse. However, if you experience irritation due to vestibular papillomatosis yeast infection, an over-the-counter (OTC) antifungal cream might help eliminate the discomfort.
Later, apply the cream daily and leave it overnight. You’ll indeed find it effective!
Vestibular Papillomatosis-Castor Oil:
Try applying castor oil directly to the papillae. Wash it after 1-2 hours. You can use castor oil twice or thrice a day until the papillae disappear.
Likewise, for better results, try opting for garlic with castor oil.
Vestibular Papillomatosis: Apple Cider Vinegar:
Since apple cider vinegar is highly effective in removing papillae.
Therefore for good results, apply apple cider vinegar with a cotton swab on the bumps. Let it rest for 10-15 minutes, then wash it off.
Also, don’t leave it for too long as it might cause a burning sensation in the surrounding surfaces.
Equally important, keep on applying it until you get optimum results!
Vestibular Papillomatosis: Banana Peel:
It must be surprising for you that banana peel can heal the papillae. Secondly, it contains enzymes that can dissolve the bumps on the vulva.
Therefore, place the banana peel on the affected area and leave it overnight. Wash the affected area in the morning. Likewise, repeat the same procedure for several days until you notice a drastic change!
Some Other Home Remedies:
Besides the treatments mentioned above, you can also apply any of the following items to get rid of vestibular papillomatosis at home;
- Tea tree oil
- Garlic cloves
- Pineapple juice
- Olive leaf extract
- Fig leaf extract, etc.
Will Vestibular Papillomatosis Go Away on Its Own?
Since it is natural and doesn’t require any prescribed treatment, can vestibular papillomatosis go away on its own?
However, there’s no proper answer to this query. Further, you can try opting for different home remedies to get rid of them, or if you feel pain or extreme itchiness, then try consulting your doctor!
In conclusion, vestibular papillomatosis is an ordinary condition that defines a variant morphology of the vulva. It is a common variant that often resembles HPV condyloma or genital warts due to similar characteristic features.
Furthermore, it appears as shiny, skin-colored bumps on the inner folds (labia minora) of the vulva of the vagina. Also, sometimes you might not even know that you have it since it is painless, harmless, and non-itchy.
However, there’s no exact cause for it. Still, researchers suggested it to be genetic, and a woman can get it at any age.
Although it is normal, many women try to get rid of it through vestibular papillomatosis home treatment methods so that it may not interfere during sexual intercourse.
On the contrary, consult your doctor if you ever experience pain or itchiness in papillae, as it might require prescribed treatment from your gynecologist!
Will vestibular papillomatosis go away?
Vestibular papillomatosis appears as painless and non-tender bumps on the vulva of the vagina. Besides, it is not a disease or any abnormality. Further, it hasn’t come up with any typical complications yet!
However, many women try getting rid of them through home remedies. You should consult your doctor if you feel pain or itchiness on the bumps. Somehow, your doctor will remove them for you, but they might come back in later life!
Why do I have vestibular papillomatosis?
Vestibular papillomatosis is a typical morphology of the vulva. However, out of all women, 33% are known to have these bumps on their outer vaginal lining.
Although the cause is still unknown. However, genetics is the leading cause since most women having papillae are naturally born with them. Moreover, a woman can still develop vestibular papillomatosis at any age!