Vaginal Itching
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Vaginal Itching

Obstetrics and GynaecologyGeneral Practice

Vaginal Itching refers to the itching sensation in the external genital area of women, which may be accompanied by other symptoms such as redness, burning sensation, increased discharge, or an unusual odour. Various factors, including infections, skin inflammation, allergic reactions, hormonal changes, etc, can cause Vaginal Itching.

Factors

  • Infection: Infections caused by viruses, bacteria, or fungi in the external genital area, such as yeast infections (candidiasis), bacterial infections, or viral infections, can lead to vulvar itching.
  • Skin Issues: Dermatological conditions such as rashes, eczema, psoriasis, and others may cause itching in the vulvar area.
  • Lichen Sclerosus: Lichen sclerosus most commonly affects the skin around the external genitalia and anus in women. The affected skin may turn white or have prominent white patches and can be itchy, painful, and prone to damage. Prolonged inflammation may lead to scarring or adhesions in the vulva, causing narrowing of the vaginal opening, leading to difficulty urinating and even difficulty with intercourse. Additionally, lichen sclerosis risks progressing to squamous cell carcinoma of the vulva.
  • Allergic Reactions: Allergic reactions to certain cleaning products, detergents, sanitary products, pads, or specific foods may cause itching in the external genital area.
  • Hormonal Changes: Hormonal fluctuations during menstrual cycles, pregnancy, menopause, etc., may sometimes affect the health of the vulvar area, leading to itching.
  • Irritation: Tight clothing, non-breathable underwear, wet clothing, and damp swimwear can cause friction and moisture, leading to vulvar itching.

Prevention & Treatments

Various factors, such as infections, allergies, or irritants, can cause genital itching. It is crucial to identify the underlying cause to determine the most appropriate treatment. If you have persistent genital itching, you should consult a doctor for a proper diagnosis.
Here are some suggestions that may help alleviate genital itching:

  • Maintain Good Hygiene
      - Keep the genital area clean and dry.
      - Avoid using harsh soaps, vaginal douches, or scented products, as they may disrupt the natural balance of the genital area.
  • Wear Breathable Clothing
      - Choose cotton underwear and loose-fitting clothing to ensure proper ventilation.
  • Avoid Irritants
      - Avoid using scented sanitary pads, liners, or toilet paper.
      - Be cautious with personal care products, such as creams and lotions, ensuring they are hypoallergenic.
  • Practice Safe Sex
      - Use condoms during sexual activity to reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
  • Over-the-Counter Creams or Ointments
      - For specific causes of itching, some over-the-counter antifungal creams may help relieve discomfort. If itching persists, seek medical attention promptly.
  • Prescription Medications
      - If itching is caused by bacterial or yeast infections, a doctor may prescribe oral medications or more potent topical treatments.
  • Probiotics
      - Probiotics may help maintain the balance of healthy bacteria in the genital area, aiding in preventing infections.

Remember, self-diagnosis and self-treatment may not always be appropriate. If symptoms persist or worsen, it is essential to consult a healthcare professional for a comprehensive assessment and the most suitable treatment plan.

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