During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond, BostonUrogyn is Determined To Be There for You. We are now offering HIPAA-compliant Telemedicine Consultations, as well as Office Visits.

Vulvar Intraepithelial Neoplasia: Signs and Effective Treatments

Vaginal health is important to your overall health, and if you’re experiencing pain, burning, and itching, your discomfort can be due to a number of issues

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), hormonal changes, infections, inflammation, and many other conditions can complicate your life, but they’re often quite treatable. Some conditions, however, don’t present with symptoms, and can even be caused by other infections.

One example is a condition known as vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia (VIN), a precancerous lesion that’s often associated with a human papillomavirus (HPV) infection.

If you’re in the Boston, Massachusetts, area and think you have signs of VIN or other vaginal conditions, Dr. Neeraj Kohli and the team at BostonUrogyn can help. They have years of experience treating a variety of urogynecological conditions, including vulvovaginal disease.

What is vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia (VIN)?

VIN is a condition where abnormal skin cells appear on your vulva, the outer vaginal opening that includes the clitoris and the labia. There are two main types of VIN: 

Usual type

This type of skin abnormality is often associated with an HPV infection, most common in women ages 35-49, and comes in two grades that indicate the extent of the abnormality.

Low grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (LSIL) are the least invasive and often go away without treatment. High grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSIL) are more common and present a low risk of getting cancer.


This variation is the least common of all and occurs in women ages 50-60. Unlike the usual type, this version isn’t connected to HPV, but to lichen sclerosus, an uncommon condition that causes itchy, white patches on your genital and anal area.

Patients with differentiated VIN have a higher risk of cancer than those with the usual type.

Common symptoms of VIN include itching, sexual discomfort, and skin changes in the vulvar area. You may not present with any symptoms initially.

Who is at risk for VIN?

While the age groups mentioned above are at higher risk, younger women and even teens are at risk as well. 

HPV infection is a common cause of the usual type VIN, but smoking, diseases that cause immunosuppression (like HIV), and organ transplant medications can contribute to the risks of getting this condition.

Differentiated VIN can be caused by chronic inflammatory skin conditions in the vulvar region like lichen sclerosus or erosive lichen planus.

How is VIN treated?

Treatment options depend on what variation of VIN you’re dealing with. HSIL and differentiated VIN are the variations that most likely need treatment. 

Imiquimod cream is used for HSIL VIN; it boosts the immune system to help the body kill the HPV infection causing the condition. It can take up to six months to be fully effective. 

Laser treatment is also available to burn away the abnormal cells, and surgery is an option if your VIN is widespread.

Vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia can be scary because there’s a small risk of cancer, but it’s treatable. If you’re concerned about VIN, Dr. Kohli and BostonUrogyn are here to help.

Call one of our Boston area locations, including Wellesley and South Weymouth, or book your appointment online today.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Nutrition Tips to Help Manage Fecal Incontinence

Fecal incontinence can dramatically affect your quality of life, so treating it is important to allow you to do the things you enjoy. The food you eat can play a role in managing or even preventing this condition. Read on to find out more.

It Shouldn’t Hurt When You Have Sex

Sex is a fundamental part of our lives, but experiencing pain while having sex shouldn’t be. If you’re a woman, read on to find out how you can avoid or treat painful intercourse.

6 Telltale Signs of a UTI

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common, and you can get them for a variety of reasons. Getting a UTI treated quickly means knowing the signs, so let’s find out what to look for.

What the Pressure in Your Rectum Could Mean

Proper digestion is vital to your health. Any problems you have with getting food through your body could be trouble. Rectal problems in particular can indicate serious issues, and you should know what they could mean.

Home Remedies for UTIs

Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, are problematic for women and can lead to complications like kidney damage if left untreated. Your doctor has medications to treat a urinary tract infection, but there are ways to manage it at home.