Itching “down there” can drive any woman crazy. Feminine itching happens around the vulvovaginal area (so both internally and on the outside). Having an itch is not about being dirty or having poor hygiene. There are many common causes ranging from wearing synthetic materials that irritate your skin through to an allergic reaction to deodorant.
- Itchiness around the genitals.
What might be causing this itching?
Itchiness in this sensitive region is often caused by dermatitis which means your skin has come into contact with something that has irritated it. This could be a reaction to the material of your underwear, the dye in your clothes, a vaginal deodorant, bubble bath or other perfumed product.
Or the itching may be caused by an infection. Thrush is a yeast infection caused by a fungus called Candida albicans. This normally lives harmlessly in the vagina but if the natural balance of the vagina gets upset candida multiples causing itchiness.
Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is another possible source of itching. This too is an infection that occurs when the balance of the bacteria in the vagina becomes disrupted. Causes of BV are not clear but suggested triggers include new sexual partners, smoking, using strong detergents to wash underwear and using scented bath products.
Itchiness can also result from a sexually transmitted infection. A common one causing itchiness is trichomoniasis.
How can it be treated?
- The vagina cleans itself with natural secretions but you should wash the area around the vagina daily with unperformed soaps or wipes designed for this purpose.
- To ease itchiness use vaginal itching treatment or vaginal moisturiser. Using 1% hydrocortisone cream (available over the-counter) may also provide relief.
- Thrush can be treated easily with anti-thrush remedies in the form of tablets, pessaries or creams available through NHS or private prescription or over-the-counter.
- Infections are treated with prescription-only antibiotics. Consult a doctor if the itching is severe or ongoing. A GP will take a vaginal swab to determine the cause and treatment.
Alternative remedies & self-help:
- Healthy eating and regular exercise will promote good general and good vaginal health.
- Wear loose-fitting clothes to let air-circulate to prevent itching and chaffing.