Itchy labia - what to do?
- Causes of itchy labia
- Treatment of itchy labia in women
Itchy labia is a specific reaction of the skin to an irritant that makes a woman want to scratch the itchy area. There can be many reasons provoking itching of the labia. You should not ignore them, since in some cases serious treatment may be required.
In itself, itching of the labia is not a separate disease, but only a symptom indicating a problem in the body.
Causes of itchy labia
The causes of itching in the labia include the following:
The age of a woman is important in determining the cause of the itching. So, hormonal fluctuations in the body can occur during puberty, during pregnancy, during menstruation and in menopause and lead to itching.
- Itching during menses. Menstrual flow is a favorable environment for the development and reproduction of bacterial flora. During this period, a woman's immunity becomes especially vulnerable to various external and internal factors. If, in addition to everything, the rules of intimate hygiene are not followed, then it is quite possible to develop an inflammatory process - vulvovaginitis. He becomes the cause of itching of the labia.
- Itching of the labia during pregnancy. The cause of the discomfort that has arisen most often lies in hormonal changes in the body. These fluctuations lead to a weakening of immune defenses, changes in the normal microflora of the vagina and the growth of pathogenic bacteria.
Itching of the labia after giving birth. This discomfort is also hormone related. It will take some time for the hormonal background to stabilize. The hormonal storm ends with the onset of menstruation. Until this time, there is an increased risk of developing various diseases of the genital organs, which may be accompanied by itching.
- Itching of the labia during menopause. Violation of the trophism of the mucous membranes and skin of the vulva often occurs during menopause. Gynecologists call this process kraurosis. With this disease, itching becomes a rather serious symptom that makes a woman experience severe discomfort. Often, against the background of kraurosis of the vulva, nervous disorders of varying degrees occur. A sharp drop in the body of female sex hormones, which previously had a protective effect on the mucous membranes of the genital organs, leads to kraurosis. Sometimes the disease is quite difficult, abrasions and cracks appear on the labia, followed by the formation of ulcers. The risk of developing infectious lesions increases, vulvitis and vulvovaginitis join.
- External factors influencing the occurrence of itching of the labia.
- Pollution. Most often, itching of the labia occurs in women working in industries with increased air pollution with dust.
- Non-observance of the rules of intimate hygiene, rare and incorrect washing, rare change of pads, inability to take a shower.
- Exposure to low or high temperatures. Both overheating and hypothermia can provoke itching.
- Mechanical impact. In this case, we are talking about wearing synthetic underwear, about its inconsistency with the size range, about using linen with rough inner seams. In addition, too frequent washing and douching of the vagina without medical advice can negatively affect. Using scented sanitary pads can cause discomfort around the labia.
- Taking some medicines.
- Exposure to chemicals found in, for example, condoms or contraceptive gels.
- Infectious diseases leading to the development of itching of the labia.
Vaginal candidiasis is caused by fungi, which, under normal immune status, always exist in the mucous membranes of a woman's body. With a decrease in protective forces, their active reproduction occurs. Itching of the labia is one of the most striking symptoms of candidiasis. In addition, white cheesy discharge, pain during an attempt to empty the bladder, during sex, etc., indicate the disease.
- Gardnerellosis. The disease develops due to the replacement of the normal microflora of the vagina with a pathogenic one. Itching and burning of the labia with this disease is always pronounced. In addition, the woman is worried about the discharge, which has an unpleasant smell, reminiscent of the smell of a lost fish.
- Genital herpes is also one of the possible causes of itchy labia. In addition, rashes in the form of bubbles appear periodically on the genitals, which occurs during an exacerbation of the disease.
- With epidermophytosis inguinal, the skin of the labia is affected, the appearance of pink spots on it with a center of inflammation. In this case, the inguinal zone itches, and the lesions are peeling. Then, foci of inflammation are formed on the skin, having clear boundaries of red color.
Trichomoniasis is an infectious disease that causes redness and itching of the labia. Discomfort occurs against the background of appearing abundant yellow discharge with an unpleasant odor.
- Parasitic diseases that lead to itching of the labia. Scabies can cause discomfort in the labia area. This disease is contagious and develops due to contact with the dermal integument of the scabies mite. As the parasites multiply, itching covers more and more areas of the body, including the groin area. Itching tends to increase during the night. In addition, pubic head lice, which occurs due to infection with pubic lice, can cause itching of the labia and groin area.
- Diseases of the female reproductive system, which can provoke itching of the labia. Sometimes the cause of itching of the labia is the pathology of the woman's reproductive system. With endometritis and cervicitis, purulent discharge may appear, which will irritate the skin of the labia and cause itching. Although sometimes these diseases are asymptomatic.
Itching of the labia with diabetes mellitus. Itching in the groin area occurs due to the fact that the urine of a woman suffering from diabetes contains a lot of glucose. In addition, toilet visits are becoming more frequent. The remnants of such secretions on the genitals lead to the fact that bacteria begin to multiply there faster, which provoke irritation and itching.
- Liver diseases that provoke itching of the labia. Severe liver damage can cause bile enzymes to build up in the blood and skin. In addition to giving the skin a yellowish tint, they also act as an irritant. As a result, a woman may experience itching all over her body, including around the labia.
- Diseases of the urinary system and itching of the labia. With pathologies of the bladder and kidneys, their functioning is impaired. This contributes to the development of polyuria and the accumulation of urea breakdown products in the blood. These two factors act as irritants to the skin of the labia.
Diseases of the hematopoietic organs, endocrine glands, tumors of the genital organs. All these diseases lead to the fact that the woman's immune system begins to function worse. A decrease in defenses leads to the multiplication of pathogenic microflora, which causes various diseases that provoke itching of the genitals. Diseases of the endocrine glands can also cause hormonal disruption.
- Psychological reasons.
Prolonged stress, serious shock, nervous disorders, depressive conditions can cause increased sensitivity of the skin. This, in turn, leads to itching of the body and intimate places.
Treatment of itchy labia in women
- To avoid the development of vulvovaginitis during menstruation, it is necessary to perform high-quality intimate hygiene. The gaskets should be replaced after a maximum of 6 hours. The volume of menstrual flow does not matter. If the inflammation has already begun, then you should stop using tampons. Washing must be performed using antiseptic solutions, including: Miramistin, Furacilin, etc.
If the itching began to bother a woman during gestation, an appeal to an obstetrician-gynecologist and appropriate tests is required. It may be necessary to use medications aimed at normalizing the vaginal microflora and increasing the body's immune forces. Pregnant women are more often recommended treatment with local drugs - the use of intervaginal suppositories and ointments, washing with antiseptic solutions.
- When vulvitis or vulvovaginitis becomes the cause of itching, clarification of the causes that led to the development of the disease is required. A woman will need to adhere to bed rest (in the acute phase of the disease), change her diet by increasing the number of alkalizing products (milk, steamed vegetables, fresh fruits, mineral waters). Local treatment is reduced to the use of medical antiseptics (Chinozol, Chlorhexidine, Miramistin), it is possible to lubricate the affected skin of the labia with ointments, for example, Sanguiritin 1%. Also, doctors prescribe antibacterial ointments - Tetracycline, Erythromycin, Oleterin. Inside, the intake of antimycotics is shown (with fungal infection), antibiotics (with bacterial infection). The choice of a specific drug depends on the type of pathogen and its sensitivity.
Treatment of thrush is carried out under the supervision of a gynecologist. He selects drugs suitable for a woman, for example, Clotrimazole, Natamycin, Miconazole, Isoconazole, draws up a comprehensive treatment regimen (gives recommendations regarding nutrition, lifestyle, local treatment of the genitals, prescribes drugs to eliminate intestinal dysbiosis, to increase immunity, etc.).).
- Gardnerellosis, leading to itching, requires treatment with antibacterial drugs - Metronidazole, Tinidazole, Clindamycin. It is also necessary to restore the normal microflora of the vagina, for which eubiotics are prescribed.
- With genital herpes, antiviral drugs (Acyclovir, Famciclovir, Panavir, etc.), sedatives (Valerian extract), vitamin therapy (taking ascorbic acid, vitamins B1 and B6), taking antihistamines (Suprastin, Tazepam), immunomodulators (Lavomax). After completing a therapeutic course, it is possible to administer a herpes vaccine. (read also: Genital herpes in men and women on the genitals)
- Therapy of epidermophytosis inguinal is reduced to performing lotions with a solution of Resocin and Silver nitrate in the required concentration. It is possible to take antihistamines, treat the affected areas with antifungal agents, for example, Lamisil, Nizoral, Mikoseptin, etc.
- To get rid of trichomoniasis, doctors prescribe Metronidazole or Trichopolum. The course of treatment can be a week or a single dose of 2 g can be recommended. Combination with local treatment makes it possible to completely get rid of the disease. To do this, use candles Terzhinan, Betadin, Klion-D and others. If the disease proceeds in a complicated form, then a longer antimicrobial therapy will be required.
To get rid of itching caused by scabies, it is necessary to use specialized ointments, creams and aerosols. This disease cannot go away on its own. Among the medicines that allow you to get rid of the scabies mite: Lindane, Esdepalletrin, Permethrin, Crotamiton, Benzyl benzoate, etc. If the itching is caused by the spread of pubic lice, then you will need to treat the groin area with drugs such as: Pedilin, Nix, Nittifor, etc. In addition, in case of parasitic infection, it is necessary to carefully process all the patient's belongings. For this, special disinsectants are used. Things can also be boiled and ironed.
- If the itching is caused by psychological disorders, then it is necessary to contact a psychotherapist, undergo an examination and take medications that this specialist will prescribe.
The rules of intimate hygiene are the same for all women:
- Washing after using the toilet (movements should be from front to back);
- Change of underwear twice a day (for young girls, underwear is changed more often - as it gets dirty);
- Thorough washing and rinsing of underwear, for which it is better to use hypoallergenic powders;
- Using soap for washing no more than once every 12 hours;
- Wearing linen made from natural materials;
- Use only personal products for hygiene procedures.
In addition, a refusal of intimate life will be required during the treatment. Sometimes both partners will need to undergo a therapy course. In any case, if the itching of the labia does not go away after the normalization of the rules of intimate hygiene, it is necessary to consult a gynecologist, venereologist or dermatovenerologist.
The author of the article: Lapikova Valentina Vladimirovna | Gynecologist, reproductologist
Education: Diploma in Obstetrics and Gynecology received at the Russian State Medical University of the Federal Agency for Healthcare and Social Development (2010). In 2013 completed postgraduate studies at N. N. N. I. Pirogova.