Genital itch

From WikiProjectMed
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Genital itch
Other names: Vaginal itch, vaginal pruritus, perineal itch, vulvar pruritus
CausesInfectious: Yeast infection, bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasis, dermatophytosis, pediculosis pubis, scabies[1][2]
Skin diseases: Eczema, psoriasis, lichen planus, lichen sclerosus[3]
Allergic or irritant: Latex condoms, spermicides, fragrances[3]
Others: Atrophic vaginitis[1]
Diagnostic methodBased on symptoms and examination[1]
TreatmentAvoiding irritants, loose clothing, based on underlying cause[2][3]
MedicationSteroid cream, antihistamines, estrogen cream[2]
FrequencyRelatively common[2]

Genital itch is a sensation of needing to scratch the genital area.[1] Often the term is restricted to itching of the vulva or vagina with anal itching being addressed separately.[1] Genital itching may be significant if it is prolonged, severe, or associated with abnormal vaginal discharge.[1] It can significantly affect a persons quality of life.[2]

In women common causes include a vaginal yeast infection, bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasis, allergic or irritant reactions, and atrophic vaginitis.[1] Common irritants include latex condoms, spermicides, and fragrances.[3] Other causes may include dermatophytosis, pediculosis pubis, scabies, atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, and lichen sclerosus.[1][2] Rarely it may result from vulvar cancer.[2] Diagnosis is generally based on the symptoms and examination.[1]

Treatment includes addressing the underlying cause if possible.[1] Other efforts involve avoiding potential irritants such as vaginal "cleaning" products and creams and wearing loose fitting clothing.[2][3] Washing with water and fragrance and color free soap along with the use of petroleum jelly maybe continued.[2] Steroid cream and antihistamines may be useful.[2] Estrogen cream applied to the area may be useful after menopause to address atrophic vaginitis.[2] It occurs relatively commonly in young girls and women.[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 "Genital Itching - Women's Health Issues". Merck Manuals Consumer Version. Retrieved 26 September 2020.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 Savas, JA; Pichardo, RO (July 2018). "Female Genital Itch". Dermatologic clinics. 36 (3): 225–243. doi:10.1016/j.det.2018.02.006. PMID 29929595.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Alani, A; McDonald, L; Abdelrahman, W; Hunter, HL (7 February 2019). "Vulvar itch". BMJ (Clinical research ed.). 364: l83. doi:10.1136/bmj.l83. PMID 30733221.