Vaginal itching can be irritating and embarrassing. It’s hard to figure out why. Is it your new soap or a yeast infection?
To get rid of it, you must know its cause. This may mean a trip to your healthcare provider’s office.
But you may be able to relieve the itching with natural home remedies. This article looks at common causes of vaginal itching, ways it may help, and when to seek medical attention.
Yeast is naturally present in your vagina. A yeast infection is an overgrowth of this yeast.it is usually caused by Candida albicans. but a few Candida Species can cause it.
Yeast infections often cause:
- abnormal discharge
How common are yeast infections?
Vaginal yeast infections are common. Each year, an estimated 1 million Americans get one. About 75% of vaginal patients will develop a yeast infection at least once in their lifetime.
Home Remedies: Yeast Infection
You can treat a yeast infection at home. You can choose over-the-counter (OTC) antifungal products or home remedies.
However, these symptoms are similar to those of other diseases. This includes some STDs. So medical diagnosis is very important. Then you can choose how you treat it.
Vaginal bacteria and yeast control each other. But sometimes bacterial counts drop. The yeast then grows out of control.
Probiotics are food for bacteria. This can increase their numbers and bring things back into balance.
You can get probiotics through supplements or yogurt. Research shows that eating yogurt can balance the microbiome in your gut. So far, it’s unclear whether it helps vaginal yeast infections.
If you try yogurt, choose a low-sugar version, such as Greek yogurt. Yeast feeds on sugar.
Boric acid powder can treat yeast infections. A small study showed it was as effective as fluconazole. That’s what brands of antifungal drugs like Monistat do.
More research is needed to be sure. Little is known about its long-term safety. Do not use it to treat recurring problems without talking to your healthcare provider.
Large amounts of boric acid are toxic. To keep levels low, use only topically or as a vaginal suppository.
baking soda bath
A baking soda bath may also help.A lab study shows that baking soda can kill Candida. But it’s not clear whether it can do this in your body.
For a baking soda bath, add a quarter to two cups to warm water. Then lie down and relax.
How to Get Rid of a Yeast Infection
A fungal overgrowth can lead to a vaginal yeast infection. Home remedies include probiotics, boric acid, and baking soda baths.
Hormonal changes can cause vaginal itching:
- Perimenopause (the transition period before menopause)
- throughout the menstrual cycle
Low estrogen levels can lead to dry, itchy vaginal skin.
Sometimes, a large drop in estrogen can cause vaginal atrophy. This includes dryness, burning and itching.
Estrogen: what it is and what it does
Home Remedies: Hormone-Related Itching
You can’t control your hormones. But you can choose to relieve itching caused by hormonal changes. They include:
- Cold compress: Wet a towel with cold water and place it on the vulva (external genitalia).
- Colloidal Oatmeal Bath: Colloidal oatmeal powder can reduce skin inflammation. This can help relieve itching and irritation. Simply dissolve the oatmeal in a warm water bath and soak for 20 minutes.
Low estrogen can cause vaginal dryness. This can cause itching and irritation. A cold compress or colloidal oatmeal bath may help.
Some chemicals can irritate vaginal tissue. This can cause itching. Possible irritants include:
- washing powder
- Shower Gel
- bath salts
- bubble bath
- female spray
Some people are allergic to these products. This can cause itching and rashes all over the body.
Home Remedies: Chemical Stimulation
Home remedies for chemical-induced itching include:
- Avoid: Not using the product should clear up the itching.
- Wear cotton underwear: Pure cotton is breathable. It reduces irritation.
- Take a colloidal oatmeal bath: Anti-inflammatory properties may help. (See information above.)
Vaginal bacteria and your sexual health
The chemical irritation should go away when you stop using the product. Cotton underwear and oatmeal baths can help when symptoms subside.
The skin conditions eczema or psoriasis can sometimes cause vaginal itching. However, they are more common elsewhere.
Eczema is a scaly red rash. Most commonly found on the elbows, back of the knees, neck, wrists, or ankles.
Psoriasis can also cause a red, scaly rash. It is usually found on the lower back, elbows, knees, legs, soles of feet, scalp, face and palms.
How common is eczema?
Eczema is very common. An estimated 20% of Americans will have it at some point. It is most common in people with environmental or food allergies or in people with a family history of asthma.
Home Remedies: Vaginal Itching Caused by Skin Conditions
You can relieve the itching of eczema or psoriasis by:
- Aloe Vera Cream: Aloe vera has been shown to relieve itching caused by various ailments. Use inside the vulva and vagina.
- Coconut oil: Coconut oil may be effective for eczema. Research shows that topical coconut oil is more effective than mineral oil.
How to Treat and Prevent Eczema
Although uncommon, eczema or psoriasis can affect the genitals. Aloe vera cream and coconut oil may help.
When there aren’t enough good vaginal bacteria, bad bacteria thrive. This imbalance can trigger bacterial vaginosis (BV).
BV symptoms include:
- vaginal itching
- white or grey discharge
- strong fishy smell
- burning pain when urinating
Home Remedies: Bacterial Vaginosis
You may need a prescription for BV. But home remedies may help relieve symptoms.
Yogurt and probiotics may work. Some trials have shown that prebiotics are effective. However, systematic reviews have not found much evidence for them.
Other home remedies are:
- Raw honey ointment: The antibacterial properties of honey have been shown to help relieve vaginal itching and even treat BV.
- Baking soda or colloidal oatmeal bath: A warm bath with baking soda or colloidal oatmeal has been shown to help relieve itching. Do not use baking soda if you have a cut or open sore.
- Topical Greek yogurt: Greek yogurt can reintroduce good bacteria to the vagina. Use alone, with honey or vaginal cream.
- Garlic flakes: The antibacterial properties of garlic make it useful for BV. Taking it in tablet form ensures that you are getting enough nutrition.
Bacterial vaginosis is caused by an imbalance in the vaginal flora. Raw honey, baking soda, oatmeal, and Greek yogurt are topical options. Garlic flakes may also help.
Although rare, vaginal itching sometimes results from vulvar cancer. It can also come from a more common disease called lichen sclerosus.
Hardened lichens can be a precursor to vulvar cancer. Therefore, it is important to seek medical attention for vaginal itching that does not go away.
Itching from vulvar cancer is often accompanied by the following symptoms:
- skin becomes redder or whiter
Home Remedy: Vulvar Cancer Itching
Vulvar cancer needs to be treated by a healthcare provider. But you can relieve itching by:
- cold compress
- oatmeal bath
- Topical coconut oil
Be sure to get your healthcare provider’s approval before using any home remedies.
Vulvar cancer or lichen sclerosis can cause vaginal itching. Lichen sclerosis may lead to vulvar cancer. Cold compresses, oatmeal baths, or topical coconut oil may relieve symptoms. These conditions require medical treatment.
When to call your healthcare provider
Consult a healthcare provider if vaginal itching occurs:
- disrupt your life
- disrupt your sleep
- No improvement after a week of home remedies
While some causes go away on their own, others require medical treatment. Symptoms that always require medical attention include:
- Blisters or ulcers around the genitals, especially the vulva
- redness, swelling, pain, or tenderness in the genital area
- Changes in vaginal discharge or odor
- pain or discomfort during urination or sexual penetration
- difficulty urinating
Remember, home remedies are for symptom relief. Most won’t treat the underlying cause of your itching.
Many conditions can cause vaginal itching. Some require treatment with prescription medication. Therefore, please consult your healthcare provider for a proper diagnosis.
Home remedies can make you more comfortable during treatment or when the condition resolves on its own.
Consult a healthcare provider if symptoms such as persistent itching, bleeding, blistering, swelling, pain, or changes in skin or secretions occur.
Vaginal itching may not be something you want to discuss with your healthcare provider.
However, it is important that you check it. A few minutes of emotional discomfort can end your physical discomfort faster and protect your long-term health.
Vaginal Discharge Color Guide