Why Does It Feel Like Paper Cuts Down There? (Is It An STD?)

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Paper cut feeling down there could be caused by a yeast infection. On the other hand, it could occur because your immune system is weak or you’re taking antibiotics. Sometimes, it can be a symptom of a sexually transmitted disease (STD) like genital herpes. Other possible reasons could be vaginal cuts and genital sores.

Any discomfort feeling down there would ruin anybody’s day.

I get that from time to time, and it would cost me my confidence, and of course, scary “what ifs” would also come into my thoughts.

Paper-cut feelings in your private area may or may not be that serious. Most of the time, symptoms are treatable with at-home remedies and would heal as time passes. 

Common vaginal health conditions that may give you a paper-cut feeling down there

1. Yeast infection 

Did you know that yeast typically grows on your skin? It’s also in your digestive system and women’s vagina. Well, so is bacteria! 

A woman is holding a sad-face card near her vagina to signify that she has a yeast infection

Bacteria keep your yeast in balance. But, when it overgrows, an infection will occur. 

Yeast infection is also commonly known as candidiasis.

Risk factors of yeast infection

You’re at risk of getting a yeast infection if:

  1. You have damaged skin or a cut.
  2. Your immune system is weak. Or you have HIV or diabetes. 
  3. You’re overweight/obese. Overweight people may have skin folds where moisture can collect which is a favorable environment for yeast to grow. 
  4. You’re taking antibiotics. Antibiotics may kill the healthy bacteria that balance the yeast on your skin.

Symptoms of yeast infection

Yeast infection isn’t a sexually-transmitted disease (STD). 

But, you may experience genital symptoms that may be similar to STDs, such as the following:

  • Burning pain during intercourse or when urinating
  • Itching and redness of the genitals
  • Rash and scaly skin on or around the genital areas
  • Thick, white, odorless vaginal discharge that may appear like cottage cheese

Sometimes, yeast infection on the skin may also manifest similar symptoms to other skin conditions, such as the following:

  • Skin lesions or rash
  • Red, scaly skin
  • Itching and burning sensation on the skin
  • Skin becomes beefy red color
  • Pus bumps
  • Painful, cracking skin at the corners of your mouth
  • Discoloration and chipping of nails 

When your yeast infection becomes severe, redness, swelling, and itching result in tears, cracks, sores, and/or blisters.

Remember to check with your doctor when symptoms become severe and recurring. 

It could be a sign of a sexually-transmitted infection (STI). 

Candidiasis can be treated by changing your intimate care routine and following at-home remedies.

2. Genital herpes 

Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that can cause painful blisters in your genital area (herpetic sores). 

There are two types of herpes virus which are:

  1. Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) – It causes oral sores and fever blisters. Sometimes, it can also result in genital sores.
  2. Herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2) – It mainly causes sores that appear on the genitals, anus, buttocks, and inner thighs. Sometimes, sores can also grow inside your vagina. 

Symptoms of herpes

HSV infection may not give you any symptoms, but when it does, you may experience flu-like symptoms within several days to weeks after exposure to the virus.

Below are the following:

  • Fever and headache
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Muscle or body aches and pains
  • Fatigue
  • Lack of appetite
  • Shooting pain at the site of the infection
  • Pain when urinating

You may also experience tingling, burning, or itching on the site of infection before sores or lesions appear. 

Herpes sores are like pimples or tiny, painful pus-filled blisters that may break open, ooze, and form a crust before healing. 

These may appear in your mouth and/or lips, face, genitals, or anywhere in your body that has come in contact with HSV. 

The sores typically grow within 2-30 days or later and may last from 10 days to a week.

If you have contracted the herpes virus, you may experience the symptoms appearing from time to time for the rest of your life. However, it wouldn’t be as severe as your first.

Please see your doctor immediately when symptoms of HSV infection occur. 

Other genital infections may give you symptoms similar to that of herpes. It’s essential to receive a diagnosis as soon as possible to discuss treatment and management strategies for the infection.

There is no cure for herpes, and sores usually clear up on their own. But medications are available to help improve your symptoms. 

Antiviral medicines may also lessen your chances of transmitting the virus during your breakouts. 

The following are available antiviral medicines:

  • Acyclovir
  • Famciclovir
  • Valacyclovir
  • Foscarnet or cidofovir

At-home remedies for HSV infection may also help ease outbreak symptoms. 

3. Vaginal cuts

Vaginal cuts or, in other words, tears or scrapes in your vaginal area commonly develops after sexual intercourse or foreplay. 

It may also be caused by shaving and other hair removal activities. 

Other possible reasons for vaginal cuts are:

  1. Improper use of sex toys or inserting foreign objects in your vagina
  2. Improper insertion and removal of tampoons
  3. Vaginal thinning due to aging or vulvar atrophy (decreased testosterone and estrogen)
  4. Vaginal dryness
  5. Taking medications like steroids
  6. Yeast infection
  7. Vulvovaginitis
  8. Genital herpes
  9. Scarring or tissue damage due to surgery or radiation therapy on a pelvic area
  10. Skin conditions that affect the vaginal area like eczema, psoriasis, and others.

Vaginal cuts may cause pain during urination and minor bleeding. 

However, to see if it’s present in your vaginal area, you can check it using a compact mirror by safely laying your back on a chair or the edge of a surface. 

You may also visit your doctor for a physical examination.

How to treat vaginal cuts

Vaginal cuts usually heal up on their own. 

But, of course, you must practice proper self-care to speed up healing.

Below are some self-care tips for vaginal cuts:

  1. Take a bath daily.
  2. Wash or soak your vaginal area with warm water for 10 to 15 minutes once or twice daily.
  3. Avoid using harsh or perfumed vaginal washes or soaps or any intimate care products that can be irritating. Use only gentle cleansers. 
  4. Keep the area dry before getting dressed.
  5. Wear cotton underwear or loose bottoms (or none if possible).
  6. Avoid using tampons. Use only pads or period underwear until you’re healed.
  7. Pour warm water over your vaginal opening when urinating to lessen stinging pain. Drink more water to lessen the acidity of your urine.
  8. Don’t have sex or any foreplay until you’ve recovered. 
  9. Avoid also touching the affected area.

4. Genital sore

A paper cut feeling down may be a bump or a lesion in or around your vagina or vulva. 

There could be many potential causes of genital sores. And these could spread from your genitals to your anus. 

Some could be painless, while others may be itchy, painful, tender, and produce a discharge.

Genital sores can be caused by sexually-transmitted infections, most commonly genital herpes. 

Other possible causes for genital sores could be one of the following:

  • Genital warts
  • Chancroid
  • Syphilis
  • Molluscum contagiosum
  • Granuloma inguinale

The following chronic conditions may also result in genital sores:

  • Eczema
  • Vulvovaginitis
  • Contact dermatitis
  • Cysts
  • Ingrown hairs
  • Hidradenitis suppurativa
  • Psoriasis
  • Behcet’s disease

Genital soreness may give you symptoms similar to STIs and bacterial or yeast infections in your genital area. 

Common symptoms may include the following:

  1. Itchiness and pain at the site of infection
  2. Burning and feeling of discomfort when urinating
  3. Pelvic pain
  4. Bleeding
  5. Painful sexual intercourse
  6. Foul-smelling vaginal discharge

Please check with your doctor immediately if you suspect genital sores, as these may be STIs that need proper treatment to prevent them from getting severe and from spreading. 

FAQs

What are vulvar fissures?

Vulvar fissures often occur in the bottom part of the vaginal opening or, sometimes, at the top. It’s the recurrent splitting tearing of your vulvar skin or lining.

It’s a condition that occurs when you’re suffering from vulvar skin conditions that cause scarring and inflammation, like vulvar lichen sclerosus, thinning of vulvar skin, or poorly healed perineal tear from childbirth or overactive pelvic floor muscle dysfunction. 

Conclusion

Paper-cut feelings down there may not always be a symptom of a serious health condition and can be easily treated with home remedies.

But, it’s important that you pay attention to the symptoms as some may be associated with sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and need immediate treatment to avoid getting severe or spreading. 

You can visit your doctor to get tested for possible STDs when you experience a symptom of a paper-cut feeling in your private area.

You may need more than home remedies to treat the condition. 

Reana Jean Cuevas
Mabuhay! I'm Reana Jean Cuevas. A healthy body means living well with no worries-just happiness and more life adventures. Taking care of my body and well-being is an investment for my career and future. I was a volunteer at the Philippine Red Cross. I joined the training to become a first-aider and be able to provide other health and safety services in my community. I love discussing anything but mainly first-aid, home remedies, and women's health.
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