What is Vulvaire Intra-Epitheliale Neoplasia (VIN)?

This is a condition which describes abnormal skin changes in the vulva. – If it is classed as high grade, then it is referred to as vulvar intraepitheleial neoplasia (VIN). – This is linked with a potential risk of developing cancer. However, if the condition is not cancerous, then it is called vulvar dysplasia. Due to the severe risk associated with this condition, & the fact that it can get worse, if you have any of the listed signs or symptoms, then you should contact an Experienced Vulvo Pain Specialist right away

So What Are the VIN Signs & Symptoms I Should Look Out For?

These include, but are not limited to:

•Burning or itching on your vulva
•Ulcerations or cracks in the vulvar skin
•A new growth which resembles a wart
•Thicker skin that usual on your vulva region
•Changes in your vulva skin colour. This includes: dark brown, reddish, pink, grey, and white [1].

Risk Factors

“Although vulvar cancer is rare, VIN is becoming more common. According to the U.S. Surveillance, Epidemiology, & End Results program, VIN is now four times more common than it was in the 1970s. VIN is usually seen in women in their 40s” [1]

You are more vulnerable to VIN if you:
• Have HPV (human papillomavirus)
• Smoke
• Have a weak immune system
• Are experiencing lichen sclerosis of the vulva [1, 2]

Of note, if any of the aforementioned apply to you, then it is crucial to carry out regular
self-checks. Further, it is also advisable to to have regular check-ups with a Vulva Specialist.

What Will Happen If I Go For a Screening?

The Vulva Doctor will review your medical history, and then conduct an examination of your vulva.
If you have experienced any type of unusual symptoms, then it is very important to tell them. If the Vulva Specialist detects any abnormal skin areas on your vulva, then they will conduct a biopsy (take a small tissue sample, which will be immediately sent to the lab, and then examined by a pathologist). The Vulva Doctor will then give you the results, and if you do have dysplasia. they will put you on a Personalised Treatment Plan. This could involve topical therapy, laser ablation, or if necessary, minor ¬surgical excision [1,2].


[1]. Canadian Cancer Society (2022). “Precancerous conditions of the vulva.”

[2]. Columbia University Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Centre (2022).