Causes and treatment of external vulvar itching

Vulvar itching can be very uncomfortable and annoying for some women. There are times when the cause of the condition is not accurately diagnosed, causing women long periods of distress. External vulvar itching can be so intense that it causes women to succumb to scratching, and this can result in lichen simplex chronicus, otherwise known as neurodermatitis. So how is the condition accurately diagnosed and treated? Let’s have a look.

Symptoms and Causes

Irrespective of the underlying cause of the initial vulvar itching, this skin disorder is characterized by a self-perpetuating scratch-itch cycle. The scratching causes the skin to  become leathery and brownish.  Underlying etiology may include irritative vaginal discharge from altered vaginal micro-flora patterns, recurrent/chronic yeast infections, friction from clothing rubbing and skin dermatoses including eczema, psoriasis, seborrhea, and lichen sclerosis.

However, there are many instances in which none of these factors are to blame.  Clinical investigations conducted by experts in vulvovaginal health at Fowler Gyn International, suggests that in these cases, the likely cause is a condition known as ‘vulvar contact dermatitis.’

Vulvar contact dermatitis is sensitivity to a range of irritants, which is brought on by an initial agent that has sensitized the external genitalia skin.  Due to this exposure, the vulva develops sensitivity to other irritants contained in common  female hygiene products such as soaps, detergents, shampoos, conditioners, body rinses, toilet paper, and tampons/pads.

Treatment for vulvar itching

For women with ‘vulvar contact dermatitis’ FGI recommends a collection of hypoallergenic skin care products called the FeminaRx Pure Skin Care Collection. The collection includes six products including hypocontactant soap, soothing moisturizing skin lotion, astringent skin rinse for the external genitalia, nonreactive water-based vaginal lubricant for intercourse, a non-water based labial emollient for sports and exercise to prevent tissue friction, and special blend saving cream for the genital area.

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