Itching, burning, swelling, blisters. None of these are words that we'd ever want to associate with our vulvas (or anywhere on our bodies, really). But they're all symptoms of a common vulval inflammation that can cause irritation and major discomfort: vulvitis.

Before you panic the next time you experience a nagging itch around the clitoris or a subtle burning sensation in your labia, vulvitis is not a disease. But an inflamed vulva can be seriously irritating, uncomfortable, painful and a symptom of a wider cause to which you should be paying close attention.

Plus, vulvitis often might not be recognized for what it is. Vaginitis is more commonly known than vulvitis, and while the former is also something to take seriously, it's not to be confused with vulvitis. (We know about the importance of