The first thing you have to consider in treating a labial "papercut" or tear of worse is why it's there. Sometimes the reason is simple and the treatment is simple, too.
Simple tears can be caused by fingers, fingernails, fingering, fiddling, douching, or sex. You may not even notice these tears until you or your partner touches your vagina. The lining of the vagina heals very similarly to the lining of the mouth. If you stop whatever is irritating it, it will heal in a few days. That means no sex, no tampons, no masturbating, no lacy underwear, no fingering, and don't inspect it too often. Wash the area with water once a day, no soap, no bubble bath, and dry gently. You may also need to go commando for a while, no underwear.
Mystery tears (something the medical books would call idiopathic labial abrasion) appear for no obvious reason and heal for no obvious reason and don't get better just because you want them to. Sometimes what appears to be a tear is actually caused by a fungal infection, but treating a fungal infection you don't actually have makes it worse. At least avoid using Lamisil unless your doctor has told you that you have had a fungal infection in the past.
Sometimes a mystery tear is caused by an allergy. If that's the case, you may remember something you ate, or a new personal hygiene product, or a new laundry product, or an exotic sex aid that you used a few days before you noticed the tear. Allergic irritation made the skin more sensitive, and something else "tore" it.
More serious is a condition called atrophic vaginitis. This is a break down of the vaginal lining due to lack of estrogen production. If you're 50, this is menopause. If you're 15, then it's more likely an ovarian issue of some kind that you need to discuss with a doctor. Estrogen creams relieve atrophic vaginitis, but don't self-prescribe. Using estrogen you don't actually need also has serious consequences.
In some cases the problem is vitamin deficiency. The problem vitamin is usually vitamin A. You can take up to 3,000 IU of vitamin A per day. (Don't take more if there is any possibility you could become pregnant.) Better, you can eat foods that are rich in beta-carotene, such as carrots, which your body turns into vitamin A in the amounts that it needs. Vitamin A also protects you against diseases that are spread by contact with the labia, such as HPV.
It can also help to use water-based lubricants (K-Y Liquibeads) and latex-free condoms.
Deep tears are usually caused by something you remember. Accidents, rough sex, and childbirth are the usual causes of deep, traumatic, nasty tears in the labia. Tears from childbirth are particularly severe. If you had an episiotomy, you may have been "overstitched." Your doctor has to treat these tears.
If you have tears from rape or sexual assault, you need to be seen by a clinic, and probably by a police department. You may need emotional support for a long time after the experience.
To help heal severe labial tears:
- Keep it clean.
- Keep it dry. Infections thrive in moisture.
- Wear cotton panties or go commando, as your surroundings permit.
- Don't do anything that can cause the stitches to pop open.
- Do exercises the doctor suggests to keep the tissue under the vagina flexible.
- Don't have sex while your tears are healing (unless your therapist has prescribed sex as part of your treatment!).
Labial tears usually heal without further problems. There are a few systemic conditions such as lupus and ovarian cancer that can make the labia more prone to tearing injuries, but your doctor can rule them out so you can focus on simple self-care to make the problem go away.
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