Private part is external genital area. In male external genital area includes scrotum, penis and perineum. In female private part includes vulva and skin around vulva. Itching in the private parts is a very common, annoying and an extremely embarrassing problem for everyone. Itching of private part affects perianal, perineal and genital skin.1 No matter if you are a man or woman or a child, every one of us at some point of time have experienced itching in our private parts. So, what is the cause of itching in the private parts and can something at home be done about it? Itching of groin is known as Jock itch and itching around anus is known as pruritus ani. The itching is often intense and affects 1 to 5 % of population and is more common in men.1
What are the Causes of Itching in Private Parts?
Some of the common causes of itching in private parts are as follows-
Abnormal blood hormone level
- Menopause (in women) and
- Hormonal Fluctuations
Skin Sensitivity to Chemicals
- Scented toilet paper,
- Fabric softeners,
- Contraceptive foams,
- Soaps and
- Laundry Detergent
The cause of itching in private part includes skin reaction to soap, fabrics of cloth and material that is applied over the skin. The infection is rare but often causes continuous severe itching that often results in skin abrasion and scratching wound. Treatment for groin itching or itching in private part depends on the diagnosis of the cause of itching. Since itching is over the external part of the body most treatment includes ointment and lotion. Infection causing itching in private part.
Infection- Cause of Itching In Private Part
- Yeast and Fungal Skin Infection Causes Itching Of Private Part-
Yeast infection is caused by candida albicans. The vaginal or perianal skin yeast and fungal infection causes severe itching, burning pain vaginal discharge. It is often observed in individual taking corticosteroid pill, chemotherapy treatment resulting in immunosuppression and diabetes mellitus.2
- Bacteria Skin Infection Causes Itching Of Private Part-
Bacterial infection of skin causes impetigo, folliculitis, furuncle (boil) and carbuncle.3 Most common bacterial infection of skin observed is Staphylococcus aureus infection. The other bacterial infection of skin observed over private part are: Streptococcal, gonococcal and coryneform bacterial infection. Bacterial infection causes itching, pain and purulent discharged.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases- As a Cause of Itching in Private Part
- Genital herpes Causes Itching Of Private Part-
Genital herpes is considered as sexual transmitted disease. The disease is transmitted through direct contact. The infection is caused by herpes simplex type 2 (HSV-2) and type 1 virus. The skin lesion can be asymptomatic or in most cases symptomatic. The symptoms and signs observed are skin lesions and itching. Skin lesion observed is vesicles, pustules and ulcer. Itching may be associated with burning pain and dysuria in female.
- Chlamydia –
Itching in private parts can also be caused due to Chlamydia, which is a sexually transmitted bacterial infection.4 Disease causes continuous itching and restlessness.
- Genital warts can cause itching in private part:-
External genital wart is a sexually transmitted disease caused by papilomavirus.5 Genital wart causes mild to severe itching around private part.
- Itching of Private Part Caused Due to Gonorrhea –
Gonorrhea is caused by gonococcal bacteria. The disease is transmitted during sexual act from one to another partner. Gonorrhea causes infection of urinary tract. The purulent discharge when smears on perineal skin causes itching of private part.
- Trichomoniasis Causing Itching Of Private Part-
Also known as trichomonas vaginalis. The sexually transmitting disease is caused by parasite trichomonas vaginalis. In USA about 3.7 million people are infected with T. Vaginalis.6 Annually 1.1 million new patients are diagnosed of sexual disease T. Vaginalis in USA.6 The itching of private part is caused by urinary discharge and skin infection.
Skin Diseases That Can Cause Itching in Private Part:
- Lichen sclerosus –
Lichen sclerosus7 is a condition caused by chronic inflammatory dermatosis and is seen in female and mostly affect female vulva. The lesion is seen in ano-genital area. Symptoms observed are itching in private part, pain in clitoris and atrophy of labia minora.
- Scabies Is Known To Cause Itching of Private Part-
Scabies is caused by mite known as Sarcoptes Scabiei.9 The diseases is transmitted from person to person by contact or using same object like towel, glass and plates. The mites live under the epidermis and causes severe itching. Mites lays egg and causes increased number of parasite that become difficult to treat the disease in advanced stage. The disease often endemic and localized to dense populated area.
- Itching in Private Parts Caused Due to Skin cancer –
Squamous cell and basal cell carcinoma causes mild to severe itching of the skin surrounding the skin lesion. Skin cancer is less common on groin area.
- Cause of Itching in Private Part in Elderly Population: Physiological Changes Of Skin- The changes in epidermis and dermis layer of skin in later stage of life causes pruritus or sense of itching. The cause is change in physiological structure as well as less water retention in dermis and subcutaneous tissue. Elderly people also suffer with decrease immune function that promotes certain skin infection and allergic conditions. The following conditions that develops in elderly results in itching of private parts.
- Xerosis- Dry skin
- Decrease immune system
- Skin allergies
- Menopause- Hormonal changes affects the skin texture and moisture.
Skin Sensitivity to Chemicals Resulting in Itching in Private Part
Individual suffering with type I allergy often presents with symptoms of itching in private parts.8 The itching is caused by type I allergy to chemicals, soaps, lotion and cloths. Following objects following contact with skin around private parts causes symptoms of itching in private part.
- Scented toilet paper,
- Fabric softeners,
- Contraceptive foams,
- Soaps and
- Laundry Detergent
13 Home Remedies to Relieve Itching in Private Parts
There are some simple and effective home remedies which can be tried to alleviate the itching in private parts. 13 may not be considered a lucky number by many, but we have compiled a list of 13 most effective home remedies to combat itching in private parts and these home remedies are:
Cold Compress/ Cold Water
This is one of the most effective home remedy to relieve itching in private parts. If the cause of itching in private parts is heat or chemicals, then washing your private parts with cold water or using cold compresses creates a numbing effect and relieves the itching. Don’t use soap, use only plain cold water for rinsing your genitals and pat dry gently. Cold compresses can be made by wrapping some ice cubes in a clean cloth and applying this to your private parts for a couple of minutes.11 Remove and wait for a minute, then re-apply. Repeat this process till the itching subsides.
Yogurt has been used to treat pruritus or itching in groin area.12 It contains good bacteria which helps in maintaining a healthy environment in the genital region. If the itching is mild, then yogurt is an excellent natural home remedy to relieve itching in the private parts. However, avoid using sweetened or flavored yogurt, as it can lead to worsening of itching in private parts. Only plain yogurt should be used. You can also consume plain yogurt daily which will help in restoring the internal balance of good bacteria. Also you can take some plain yogurt and apply to your affected private parts. Keep it for an hour and wash it gently with plain water only. Do this 3 to 4 times a day to get relief from itching in private parts.
Rosemary is an herb which has multiple health benefits.13 Take a bunch of Rosemary leaves and steep it in hot water for 20 minutes. Let the water cool down and rinse your private parts with this solution and you will find an immediate relief in itching with this.
Basil leaves too contain anti-fungal, anti-microbial and antibacterial properties and is very effective in treating itching in private parts caused by infection.13 Take a bunch of Basil leaves and boil it in a cup of water. Let it steep for 20 minutes and drink this solution after it has cooled down two times daily to get rid of itching in private parts.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar contains anti-fungal and antibacterial properties and is very beneficial home remedy in treating itching in private parts.
Apple cider vinegar can be consumed daily by mixing 2 tsp of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water and drinking this twice a day. This will make your body more alkaline and eliminate the harmful bacteria and yeast.
You can also add 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar in 1 cup of boiled and cooled water. Now rinse your private parts with this solution of apple cider vinegar thrice a day till the itching in private parts is gone.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil also contains strong antibacterial properties, making it a useful home remedy. Application of tree tea oil over the itching skin and private part relieves the itching.15 Itching caused by scabies responds to home treatment of tea tree oil as it not only helps in relieving itching in private parts, but is also very effective in treating yeast infection.
- Add 4 to 6 drops of tea tree oil to your bath water. Soak in this water for around 10 to 15 minutes. Do this daily till you get relief from itching in private parts.
- Add 4 to 6 drops of tea tree oil to 2 tbsp of aloe vera gel and mix well. Apply this home remedy mixture to your private parts to get rid of the itching.
Boric acid contains anti-fungal agents and is very effective in treating very resistant yeast infections of the private parts. However, Boric acid should be used with caution, as it is toxic when used internally. Take ¼ tsp of boric acid and mix it in 1 cup of water. Rinse your private parts with this boric acid solution. Do this daily till the itching in private parts subsides.
Chamomile is a soothing herb13 which not only will help get rid of itching, but also burning and inflammation in the private parts. You can also add tea tree oil to Chamomile to increase its effectiveness.
Take 1 tsp of chamomile herb or 1 Chamomile tea bag. Boil 2 cups of water and add the Chamomile to it and let it boil for 5 minutes. Turn off the flame and let it steep for 5 minutes. Next, strain it and once this chamomile solution has cooled down, add 5 to 6 drops of tea tree oil to it. Rinse your private parts with this home remedy solution twice a day to get rid of itching.
When it comes to home remedies, Garlic occupies a very special place due to its excellent antibiotic and antibacterial properties. Garlic has been used to treat itching.13 Mix a few drops of garlic oil to 1 tsp of vitamin E oil. Apply this oil solution to your private parts. Leave it for 20 minutes and gently wash it off with lukewarm water. If you are experiencing itching in the vagina, then peel a medium sized garlic clove and make some incisions on it with a knife. Insert this garlic clove into your vagina and leave it for a couple of hours before removing it. You can leave it overnight also. Do this daily till the itching in private part subsides.
Epsom Salt or Sea Salt
Epsom salt is hydrated magnesium sulfate. Magnesium is an element that is part of over 300 enzymes and enzyme reaction. Magnesium is indirectly involved in muscle contraction, and nerve signal transmission.15 The itchy private part gets relief when treated with pad that is soaked with cold Epsom salt solution. Epsom stabilizes the sensory nerve and slows down the transmission of itching sensation. Epsom salt is also beneficial in controlling the growth of bacteria and fungi. Epsom salt is good and effective home remedy in treating infections and sea salt contains excellent anti-bacterial properties.
- Add 1 tbsp of salt to 2 cups of water. Rinse your private parts with this solution to get relief from itching.
- Take an empty bottle and add 1 tsp of sea salt in it. Further add 2 to 4 drops each of thyme, lavender, chamomile and rosemary essential oils. Next, fill the bottle with water. Use this solution to rinse your private parts twice daily.
- Add 2 table spoon of salt to your bath water. Soak in this bath for half-an-hour daily to relieve itching of your private parts.
Coconut oil contains hydrating properties which soothes the dry skin in your private parts. Coconut oil is also effective home remedy in treating yeast infection of the private parts.
- Coconut oil also contains antiviral, anti- fungal and antimicrobial properties. Coconut oil when consumed also helps in boosting the immune system.
- You can consume 2 tbsp of coconut oil daily or add it into your cooking.
- Coconut oil can be applied to the affected private parts daily.
- Add few drops of vitamin E oil and garlic oil to some coconut oil. Apply this solution to your private parts to get rid of itching.
- Add 4 tbsp of coconut oil to 6 cups of water and use this mixture to rinse your private parts.
Neem (Indian Lilac)
Neem has been in use as an home remedy for centuries for treating skin conditions and infections. Neem is effective in treating pruritus or itching.13 Neem contains strong anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties.
- Add a handful of neem leaves to 4 cups of water and boil it for 10 minutes. Let the water cool down and use it to rinse your private parts twice daily.
- Mix few drops of neem oil with coconut oil and dab this solution to your private parts. Gently wipe it off after 20 minutes.
- Add a few drops of neem oil in water and use this solution to rinse your private parts to get rid of itching.
Maintaining proper hygiene is one of pre-requisites to prevent itching in private parts. It is important to shower daily and wear clean underwear daily. However, don’t wash or scrub your private parts excessively as it results in dry skin which in turn causes more itching.
- After a bowel movement, remember to always wipe from front to back.
- Change the diapers of your infants regularly and frequently to prevent itching in private parts.
- Avoid douching.
- Avoid sexual intercourse if you are experiencing burning and itching in your private parts.
- Try to avoid scratching your private parts as much as possible as this only aggravates the itching.
- Always wear loose and comfortable clothes to allow air circulation and to keep your body dry. Avoid wearing tight clothes, as they cause irritation to your skin upon every movement. Avoid wearing synthetic clothes during summer and wear loose cotton clothes.
- Avoid the use of irritating products as chemical irritants are the leading cause of itching in private parts.
- Avoid products which have fragrances added to them such as toilet paper, bubble bath and laundry detergent. Avoid using soaps, douches and feminine hygiene sprays to clean your vagina. Vagina is a self-cleaning organ and water is sufficient to clean it.
- Drink plenty of water daily.
- Follow a healthy and balanced diet and avoid junk food. Avoid consuming refined carbohydrates and sugar.
- Consume lots of fermented foods such as kefir, probiotic yogurt and miso.
- Avoid sweetened, carbonated drinks.
- Cut down on smoking and alcohol.
- Avoid any triggering allergens which are causing the itching in the private parts.
- Try using fragrance-free products. Wear breathable cotton clothes.
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