When the folds of skin outside the vagina stick together it is called labial adhesions. The folds of skin are called the labia. The labia can get stuck to each other with very thin pieces of tissue called adhesions. Labial adhesions usually occur before puberty and are most common in girls younger than 6 years old. They normally do not cause any symptoms or problems.
Labial adhesions are usually caused by something that has irritated the vaginal area. Because the labia are so close together, when the irritated area heals, the labia sometimes become temporarily stuck together.
Possible irritants include:
Topical estrogen creams can be applied to the area where the folds are stuck together. Girls respond differently to this treatment. Most girls will need the treatment for up to 8 weeks. When the labia finally separate, bathe, dry, and put petroleum jelly (Vaseline) on the area. Put petroleum jelly on the area after every bath for a few months. Even after this treatment, labial adhesions return for many girls. They may need to use estrogen cream again.
With treatment, the adhesions should break up after several weeks. When girls goes into puberty, labial adhesions break up on their own.
Labial adhesions may sometimes come back. If this happens, treatment should be repeated. The labia may get darker in color, however this fades away with time.
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