Itching anywhere on the body can cause anyone great discomfort – especially when it occurs in areas as sensitive as the vulva and vagina. Most genital itching is not a major concern, but they can still be symptoms of an infection. Vaginal itching is an uncomfortable symptom, sometimes painful, and it often occurs due to irritating substances, menopause or infections. It can also occur as a result of certain skin disorders or sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). In rare cases, vaginal itching may even develop due to stress.
In such cases, it is always a good idea to call a health care provider. Your doctor can determine the cause of the vaginal itching and she can also recommend the appropriate treatments for this symptom.
Here are some of the possible causes for vaginal itching:
Exposure to irritating chemicals can cause vaginal itching. These irritants can trigger an allergic reaction, causing an itchy rash over different areas of the body including the vagina. Common chemical irritants are:
- Feminine sprays
- Bubble baths
- Topical contraceptives
- Fabric softeners
- Scented toilet paper
If you have urinary continence or diabetes, your urine might also cause vaginal itching and irritation.
Some skin diseases such as psoriasis and eczema can also cause itching and redness in the genital area.
Yeast is a fungus that is normally present in the vagina. It usually does not cause problems, but when there is an overgrowth that goes unchecked, it can lead to an uncomfortable infection known as a vaginal yeast infection. It is a very common condition that affects 3 out of 4 women at some point in their lives.
BACTERIAL VAGINOSIS (BV)
This infection, just like vaginal yeast infection, is triggered by an imbalance between good and bad bacteria in the vagina.
Women going through menopause are more at risk for vaginal itching. This is because there is a decline in estrogen levels that can lead to vaginal atrophy, the thinning of the mucosa that can lead to excessive dryness. Failure to get treatment for this dryness can cause itching and irritation.
Medical attention is essential when treating this symptom but it can still be prevented through good hygiene and lifestyle habits.
Here are some tips that you can follow:
- Avoid scented lotions, bubble baths and soaps.
- Use warm water with mild soap to wash your genital area.
- Avoid using feminine hygiene products such as douches and sprays.
- Wear cotton underwear – change on a daily basis.
- Change out of damp or wet clothes right after exercising or swimming.
- Always wipe from front to back after defecating.
If you want a more permanent relief, call Dr. Fay Weisberg today.