Q. Do painless dark vaginal pigmentation suggest herpes or genital warts?

Answered by
Dr. Amit Kyal
and medically reviewed by Dr. Vinodhini. J
This is a premium question & answer published on Jan 11, 2020

Hello doctor,

I have two concerns. I have not had sex in over a month and I used a condom with a partner I have been on and off with over the last two years. I have never had any sores from him, and he never had a sore either.

My concerns are: I have noticed this dark pigmentation in a few spots. There is no pain, burning, or itching. They do not appear to be raised. It is just a dark pigmentation. I did the vinegar test and they did not turn white. Although the vinegar really burned my vagina. A gynecologist I went to, did not comment about the dark pigmentations in two exams.

I have this red area near my vaginal opening that is slightly irritated. I know that area has burned a lot with the vinegar, so not sure if it is burned from that.

With both concerns do they look like herpes, genital warts, or STD? Please let me know and address all the questions thoroughly. Please also provide treatment options. My lab test shows no chlamydia, gonorrhea or trichomonas.



Welcome to

Do not be worried. Just a dark pigmentation or red area is not of much significance. In herpes, usually, there are a lot of painful eruptions which is not so in your case. In warts, there are irregular bumps which are again not so in your case. Just maintain genital hygiene.

Do vaginal cytology for culture and sensitivity. Do blood for sugar, herpes IgG and Ig M (immunoglobulin G and M) and VDRL (venereal disease research laboratory). Avoid soap, Dettol and douching. Apply locally an emollient. Apply locally a Clotrimazole ointment. Review with reports.

Thank you doctor,

The dark pigmented area feels a little rough, but I am not sure if that is just the normal mucosal membrane for the area. Is that normal?

My doctor does not recommend the herpes blood test without an outbreak which I have never had. Do you really think this could be herpes? I thought you said this does not look like it?



Welcome back to

It is very unlikely to be herpes, as in herpes there will be painful eruptions. Do not worry regarding the dark pigmented area unless the size increases. Apply emollients and avoid vaginal irritants.

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