The vulva is the area of female sex organs that lies outside of the vagina. These organs include folds of sensitive tissue called the labia, with the outermost folds known as labia majora and the innermost folds known as labia minora. The vulva also contains the pubic bone, clitoris and and the openings of the vagina and urinary canal.

Please see below a photo of the normal vulvar anatomy with associated labels, developed by Dawn Danby & Paul Waggoner:

The following photos are common variants of vulvar anatomy with associated skin conditions, adopted from the Women’s Health and Education Center:

Contact dermatitis is characterized by redness and swelling, as well as other skin changes such as thickening, erosion and ulceration.
Lichen simplex chronicus chronicus is characterized by itching and thickening of the skin, resulting in a leathery appearance.
Lichen Sclerosus is characterized by whitening of the vulva and/or perianal area. There can be scarring over the clitoris and the labia minora can become flattened.
Lichen planus is characterized by bright red erosions, white lines known as Wickham’s striae, loss of labia minora, and sometimes there can be scarring in the vagina.

Please see the links below for further information on Labia Libraries:

- For further information on facts, information and medical advice, please visit the Labia Library at
- For information on diseases, symptoms, diagnostics and treatments, please visit the Health Library at