The skin in the vaginal area is no doubt different from the skin over the rest of the body. It differs in colour and in texture as many women know. It varies from woman to woman and can depend on factors like ethnicity, age, hormonal issues and friction to the area from waxing shaving etc.

Yes it is absolutely normal for the vaginal skin to be a darker colour than the skin on the rest of the body, many women seek treatments to address the hyperpigmentation in that area for the same reason we would address it anywhere else like our faces: to feel more confident and boost our wellbeing.

One common approach to genital skin whitening is a chemical peel. It’s a non-toxic acidic chemical that, when applied to the affected area, stimulates the top layers of the skin to peel and rejuvenates the underlying skin. This results in a lightening of the treated genital skin.

The top most layer of your skin is called the epidermis. It is so thin, only 0.1mm, and it’s made up of a couple of different layers of cells. During a chemical peel we aim to peel off this layer of the skin to reveal the layer beneath it called the reticular dermis. You can achieve successful whitening of your genital skin with a combination of chemical peels done in the clinic together with diligent after care with emollients like Vaseline.

Refer to my article titled “Why are our genitals darker than other body parts?“ to understand why the vaginal area is darker than most parts of our body.

What to expect during a chemical peel?

Fitzpatrick Skin Type Scale
TYPE FEATURES CHARACTERISTICS
I
  • Ivory, pale white skin
  • Red or light blonde hair
  • Light blue, light gray, light green eyes
  • Always burns and peels
  • Never tans
  • Always freckles
II
  • Fair or pale skin
  • Blonde hair
  • Blue, grey, green eyes
  • Burns and peels often
  • Rarely tans
  • Usually freckles
III
  • Fair to beige skin, with gold undertones
  • Dark blonde or light brown hair
  • Hazel or light brown eyes
  • Occasional burns
  • Gradually tans
  • Might freckle
IV
  • Olive or Light brown skin
  • Dark brown hair
  • Dark brown eyes
  • Burns minimally
  • Tans easily
  • Doesn’t really freckle
V
  • Dark brown skin
  • Dark brown to black hair
  • Dark brown to black eyes
  • Very rarely burns
  • Always tans
  • Rarely freckles
VI
  • Deeply pigmented dark brown skin
  • Black hair
  • Dark brown eyes
  • Never burns
  • Always tans
  • Never freckles
  1. Your doctor first assesses your skin type
    • Where are you on the Fitzpatrick Skin Type Scale?
  2. If you have skin type 4 and above your doctor might suggest you do a pre-‘chemical peel’ prep
    • Here you apply a preparation cream which comprises of a combination of products that assist to prepare your skin for the chemicals
      • Reduces risk of burns and hyperpigmentation
      • You might have to do this daily application for 6-8 weeks before the chemical peel
  3. Avoid doing a chemical peel when you are menstruating
  4. Shave or wax the hair off ~3 days before your scheduled peel- not later
    • Don’t shave or wax too close to your peel date – it will cause irritation
  5. Your doctor might apply anywhere between 1-3 coats of the chemical peel solution
    • This depends on your tolerance of the chemical – any biting or stinging sensation
  6. Most women sign up for a series of 6 treatments
    • Don’t expect magical whitening of your genital skin after 1 or 2 treatments
  7. If your doctor is doing a superficial peel, she might advise you do the peels every 15 days
  8. If it is a moderate peel, then she might advise you to do it every 3 months
  9. In the first 2 days after the peel the skin can look a little red and after a few days then skin can show some crusting. As this skin is vulnerable during this time, it is important to diligently apply good moisturisers or emollients to protect your skin.

Our Female Doctors are ready to listen to your issues. Visit us at InSync Medical Located along East Coast Road in the heart of Katong, Singapore. We also open on Sundays to Serve you.