Safely removing hair and lightening pigment of vaginal skin and around the genital area

Hello Dr, I am from India and my age is 24, recently I applied fem anti darkening hair removal cream on my vagina to remove pubic hairs for the very first time in my life, after applying some area of my skin got burnt not severely to cure this I am applying coconut oil twice a day will it be helpful? And another thing is I see that my vagina color is black, I had not seen my vagina color before because there were intense hair growth, after I removed my hair I observe that my vagina color is black, I doubt that is my original color or it has turned to black after I apply the female hair removal cream?

This sounds very uncomfortable and distressing! I’m hearing many questions about these goals and the difficulty in attaining them on the blog. I hear all of you and thank you so much for writing. Below are some ideas to consider regarding lightening pigment of vaginal skin and around the genital area. But also, please read my comment at the end. As women, we definitely have a choice, a voice, and a say in all this!

What is normal for women’s genitals/vaginal skin/anus:

  • The color of this skin is naturally several shades darker than the rest of our skin.
  • Hair, even a lot of hair, is present after puberty.
  • Anything… and I mean anything that irritates this skin will cause it to darken temporarily. If the irritation is removed, it may take 3-6 months for the skin color to return to normal. Irritation includes things like the chemical burn above from the hair removal cream, some personal lubricants, clothing that rubs, scratching or rubbing the area, etc. Even waxing will cause the skin to darken more in some.
  • We lose fat here as we age generally so the mons pubis and outer labia look less plump.

What to avoid (re: vaginal skin):

  • Any chemical/cream hair remover in the genital area. Waxing, sugaring, and laser hair removal (in an experienced laser center) are generally better.
  • Laser hair removal if it’s in a questionable office. Most lasers for hair removal are diode lasers. Nd:Yag lasers are safer on darker skin types. Lasers can cause burns too, if not done correctly.
  • Any creams with glycolic, salicylic acid, even certain Vitamin C, or anything acidic may be irritating. I love your idea of coconut oil as long as it’s not harboring bacteria. Also, good in this situation would be a silicone scar gel like Silagen or even just vaseline on the burned area. REMEMBER, burns or any break in the skin can get infected. If it’s not healing, or getting worse, see your doctor!!
  • Lasers for vaginal tightening. The system that use sound waves or radiofrequency are much safer, in my opinion.
  • Avoid injections of fillers into this area. This is not safe yet, in my opinion, because the level of training and experience in the M.Ds. performing this is not great. There are a few world experts who are the exception.

Please read and think about this.

It’s true (sadly) that many young men’s first sexual exposure now is on the web with porn. Porn stars go to a great deal of trouble and work to maintain their genital areas to conform to certain (mostly male generated) ideas about female genitals. Female porn stars wax, laser off, pluck, bleach and lighten, and sometimes undergo various types of genital surgery to look like plump 12 year old girls with no pubic hair, no darkening and no obvious labia minora (the inner darker lips around the vagina).

This is NOT a natural look. Women naturally have pubic hair, and a darker color around their vaginas and anuses. Women naturally have a large variation of the appearance of their external genitalia. Last January, I attended a conference in Paris where several talks addressed this. After looking at slides of 100s of female genitals, plus many skin exams over the year, we don’t all look the same. This I know for a fact!

I personally don’t think it’s a good idea to try to attain the look of a porn star. Maybe we women need to speak up, do only what we feel comfortable with, and not get too involved in trying to change what’s natural.

Hope this helps,

Dr. I


Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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Hi, I’m Dr. Irwin. I believe that consumers deserve a medically trained and unbiased skin care advocate.

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