What is Pruritus Vulvae?

Many women often face a condition called pruritus vulvae, which is basically the itching caused in vulva. While this can begin with mild itching, if left untreated it can affect the health to a great extent. Knowing about the causes of pruritus vulvae is important, so also the ways of prevention and some natural remedies that can help to avoid or manage the condition.

Also termed as itchy vulva, pruritus vulvae is a condition in which outer skin of vagina gets an itching sensation, which may be persistent. This itching of vulva may be common for most of the women, but if it lasts for long and/or if it remains persistent, it may be distressing. Pruritus vulvae or itchy vulva may have serious ill effects on your overall health, as it will be troublesome for you to have a sound sleep in night.

What is Pruritus Vulvae?

Causes of Pruritus Vulvae

The problem of pruritus vulvae or itchy vulva can affect any woman at any age and that can be mild or severe depending upon a number of other factors. There are some factors which can aggravate or cause pruritus vulvae. Here are some of the causes of pruritus vulvae or itchy vulva:

  • Skin Infections - There are a number of infections related to skin that can cause pruritus vulvae or itchy vulva in women. For instance, the condition of candida in post-menopausal women and in babies can be an important factor. For women approaching menopause and those who are diabetic, the condition can occur as candida albicans. This is the commonest cause of pruritus vulvae or itchy vulva.
  • Skin Inflammation - At all ages, the problem of pruritus vulvae can occur, and dermatitis which causes skin irritation can cause pruritus vulvae or itchy vulva. The severity may worsen if the condition relapses or is acute. Skin irritation can occur or aggravate due to various causes like scratching, wet undergarments, urine, frequent washing, use of harsh soap, etc. Such irritants can cause irritation and inflammation of the skin leading to pruritus vulvae or itchy vulva.
  • Neuropathy – Neuropathy, a condition in which the nerves are involved can occur due to some injury, or after surgery or after a viral infection without any signs of infection or skin disorder. This is another possible cause of pruritus vulvae or itchy vulva.
  • Neoplasia - The neoplastic disorders can be visible in the early stages, but sometimes these lesions can be cancerous as well. In some cases, these too can be the causes of pruritus vulvae or itchy vulva.

Ways to Prevent Pruritus Vulvae or Itchy Vulva

Once you are aware of the causes of pruritus vulvae, the condition can be managed by preventing or treating the possible underlying causes.

Here are some of the ways to prevent pruritus vulvae or itchy vulva:

Clean Clothes

It is important to keep the clothes clean and take care of the hygiene so that that no germs infest in your clothes and cause pruritus vulvae or itchy vulva.

  • Make sure you wear dry and clean clothes, otherwise the chances of getting an infection are high. This can be a potential cause of pruritus vulvae or itchy vulva, hence must be avoided.
  • It is best to dry clothes in sunlight or in well ventilated areas, so that no moisture remains.
  • Avoid wearing tight underwear, as that may hinder the air circulation and cause itchy vulva.
  • It is also important that you use mild detergent while washing clothes to make sure that the clothes are rinsed well in clean water. Traces of detergents on clothes can cause trouble and trigger problems like pruritus vulvae or itchy vulva.

Keep the Vulva Clean

Make sure that the vaginal area is kept clean by washing with water at least once a day.

  • Ensure that the vulva is dry before wearing the undergarments, if in a hurry using a dryer can also be an option. This can help prevent itchy vulva.
  • Avoid sharing personal belongings and items of personal care to avoid cross contamination and thereby preventing pruritus vulvae or itchy vulva.
  • Make sure that the parts around the vulvae are specifically kept clean during and after menses in order to reduce the risk of infection.

Avoid Harsh Chemicals

Toiletries with harsh chemicals can be damaging for the sensitive skin around vulvae and also increase the risk of skin irritation and infection in some cases.

  • Avoid using harsh sponge or soap, so as to avoid skin irritation.
  • Avoid using soaps that have strong perfumes; instead use mild soaps that can always protect you from skin irritation.

Here are some remedies that can help to manage pruritus vulvae or itchy vulva and prevent further complications.

Using Moisturizer

To prevent and manage pruritus vulvae or itchy vulva, you can use an ointment that has bland moisturizing properties and is mild on skin. Make sure you are not allergic to any of the content in it and consult your physician if required.

  • Conditions like diabetes often cause difficulty in healing and recovery from skin problems, hence it is important to manage blood sugar levels. Seeking medical opinion can help.
  • Regulate your eating habits, reduce sugar intake, quit smoking and incorporate natural probiotics like yogurt to promote better recovery from pruritus vulvae or itchy vulva.
  • Eating green leafy vegetables can also serve as an effective remedy in treating pruritus vulvae or itchy vulva in a natural way.

While most of the cases of pruritus vulvae or itchy vulva can be managed with such preventive measures, some cases may require medical help. If the causes of pruritus vulvae are serious, appropriate medical treatment should be considered.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: April 6, 2017

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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