The discomfort of vaginal itching is one of the most common problems that women experience. For some, it may be a minor issue, but for others, it may persist due to allergy or disease. Therefore, many women want to know how to stop vaginal itching. Read on to learn how to get rid of vaginal itching both safely and effectively.
Causes of Vaginal Itching
Vaginal itching can be caused due to a number of reasons.
1. Bacterial Vaginosis
Besides vaginal itching, other symptoms of bacterial vaginosis include a burning sensation, a thin grayish-white discharge, inflammation, and a foul, fishy odor. You may experience all of these symptoms, just a few, or none of them at all.
2. Yeast Infection
Vaginal itching can be caused by a vaginal yeast infection. Yeast infections can be difficult to distinguish from other types of infections, so see your doctor if you are not sure about your diagnosis. Common symptoms of yeast infections include inflammation, vaginal pain, a burning sensation, and a vaginal discharge that is either watery or thick and white.
3. Sexually Transmitted Disease (STDs)
Vaginal itching can be a symptom of any number of sexually transmitted diseases. If you experience any of the following symptoms, or if you have any other reason to believe that you have been exposed to a sexually transmitted disease, see a doctor right away. Keep in mind that it is possible to have an STD even if you do not have any symptoms.
- HPV or genital warts usually causes small, flesh-colored warts to appear near the genitals, which may appear in groups.
- Chlamydia usually has no symptoms, but it may cause vaginal discharge, abnormal bleeding, and abdominal pain.
- Trichomoniasis usually causes redness, a yellow-green vaginal discharge, and a strong vaginal odor.
- Herpes usually causes blisters, red bumps, or sores around the genital area.
- Gonorrhea usually causes a thick, cloudy or bloody vaginal discharge, abnormal vaginal bleeding, painful urination, and anal itching.
4. Chemical Substances
Chemical substances, including douches, laundry detergents, creams, fabric softeners, condoms, contraceptive foams, and scented toilet paper can irritate the vagina and cause vaginal itching.
How to Stop Vaginal Itching
1. Anti-Itch Cream
Vaginal creams can be combined with low-strength corticosteroids to reduce inflammation and itching and usually come with an applicator for accurately measuring the amount of creams used.
- An anti-itch cream will not treat the infection, but it will ease the itching, irritation, and general discomfort associated with yeast infections. It should be used along with an anti-fungal cream, vaginal suppository, or oral tablet.
- Consult your doctor before using any over-the-counter creams.
- Only use an anti-itch cream formulated for the vaginal area. Other anti-itch creams could upset the pH balance of the area, thereby making the infection worse.
- Anti-itch medication should be applied only around the vulva but not inside the vagina.
You can purchase emulsifying ointments and aqueous creams that will help stop vaginal itching at most pharmacies. Be sure to follow all of the instructions for application, and be aware that these products will not treat the underlying cause of your itching.
3. Eliminate Irritants
Irritants from your laundry detergent, soap, or other products may be causing your vaginal itching. Skipping fabric softener and switching to unscented laundry detergent may help stop vaginal itching caused by allergies. You may also want to switch to a gentle cleanser to eliminate potential irritants from your shower gel.
- Avoid powders, scented cleansers, wipes, and other products that might irritate your vaginal area.
- If you begin to experience vaginal itching shortly after you begin using a new product, discontinue use right away and avoid other products that contain the same ingredients.
4. Treat the Cause
If you have severe or persistent itching, there’s a good chance that there is some underlying cause. It’s important to identify the cause so you can treat it if you have an infection, or so you can avoid coming in contact with the source of the irritation.
In some cases, the skin around your vagina may be irritated by a skin condition. In this case, it is best to seek treatment from a dermatologist.
- Eczema and psoriasis can also cause vaginal itching. Your gynecologist or dermatologist can prescribe medications to help you manage these conditions.
- Lichen sclerosis is a condition that causes white, flaky patches of skin. It can be treated with a prescription-strength steroid cream.
5. Address Hormonal Changes
Many women experience vaginal itching shortly before and during menopause due to a decrease in estrogen. To combat this, your doctor may prescribe estrogen creams, estrogen tablets, or vaginal estrogen rings.
6. Avoid Scratching
Scratching will only worsen the irritation and cause even more itching. It may even lead to an infection if you cause a lesion, so avoid scratching at all costs.
7. Drink Lots of Water
You should drink lots of water to flush out a yeast infection faster from your system. Just do not drink too much water within an hour, as your body won’t be able to cope with so much at once.
Home Remedies for Vaginal Itching
You can also apply safe and effective home remedies to stop vaginal itching.
1. Cold Compress
One way to stop vaginal itching is applying a cold compress to your labia, since this will lower the heat which can cause the itchiness in the area.
- Take a clean washcloth and hold it under cold, running water until it is saturated. Then, wring out the excess water and apply the cloth to your vaginal area for about 10 minutes.
- Make sure that you wash the washcloth after using. If you want to repeat the treatment, use a new washcloth.
Garlic is another effective way to treat the yeast infection. Garlic contains antibacterial and antibiotic properties that can help kill bacteria and yeast.
- Dilute a few drops of garlic oil with one teaspoon of vitamin E oil and apply it on the irritated area.
- Wait for 10 minutes, then rinse with warm water.
- Use this remedy twice daily for a few weeks.
You can also chew 3 cloves of raw garlic daily, or you can take garlic supplements after consulting a doctor.
3. Coconut Oil
Using coconut oil can be an excellent remedy if you are suffering with vaginal yeast infections. If applied around the vagina on a regular basis, and at least twice a day, coconut oil can kill the Candida and free you completely from the infections and itching.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
When diluted with fresh water and used as a douche, apple cider vinegar can help cure yeast infections. So, it can stop vaginal itching entirely if a bacterial or fungal action is the problem.
- Mix 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with warm water. Use this mixture as a douche once or twice a day.
- You can also apply apple cider vinegar directly over the vagina with the help of a cotton ball. This reduces the inflammation and relieves you from vaginal itching.
5. Plain Yogurt
Eat yogurt or apply it to the vaginal area. The idea is that yogurt contains live cultures of bacteria (lactobacillus acidophilus) that help restore the level of healthy bacteria in the vagina.
6. Indian Lilac
Indian lilac is a good remedy for vaginal itching due to a yeast infection. Its antiseptic properties help fight the infection and reduce vaginal itching and other discomforts.
- Add a few drops of neem oil to a bowl of lukewarm water and use it as a rinse for your vagina. Repeat this remedy twice daily for a couple of weeks.
- Alternatively, boil a handful of neem leaves in 3 cups of filtered water. Strain and allow it to cool. Use this solution to rinse the vaginal area once daily for a few weeks.
- Try to keep your vaginal area dry. Moisture will worsen the condition.
- After using the toilet, always wipe from front to back. Maintaining good hygiene is the best way to prevent vaginal itching.
- Sleep without underwear until the itching has stopped.
- Eat foods high in vitamin C to strengthen the immune system.
- Avoid sexual intercourse until the itching has gone.