Pruritus Vulvae (Genital Itching)

Pruritus Vulvae
Body Parts: Reproductive Site
Medical Subjects: Women's Health

What Is Vulval Pruritus

Pruritus vulvae is a symptom caused by various lesions of the vulva, but it can also occur in people with completely normal vulva, which is commonly seen in middle-aged women. When pruritus aggravates, patients often feel uncomfortable in sitting and lying, thus affecting their life and work.


What Is The Etiology Of Vulval Pruritus

First, Local causes

  1. Special infection. Mycotic vaginitis and trichomonas vaginitis are the most common causes of pruritus vulvae. Lice and scabies can also cause itching. If the pruritus around the anus and vulva of the young girl caused by enterobiasis, the pruritus usually only occurs at night.
  2. Drug allergy or chemical irritation. For example, allergy caused by stimulation of daily necessities such as soap, condoms and red mercury can cause contact dermatitis, and then pruritus symptoms appear.
  3. Bad health habits. Don't pay attention to the vulva local clean, vulva by sebum, sweat, menstruation, vaginal secretions, and even urine, feces long-term stimulation can cause itching. Menstrual bands made of rubber or plastic during menstruation can easily cause the disease. Usually wearing airtight chemical fiber underwear makes vulva damp and sultry, also easy to induce itching.
  4. Other skin lesions. Such as scratch, warts, herpes, eczema, tumor can cause vulval pruritus.

Second, Systemic causes

  1. Diabetes. Vulval pruritus is especially severe because of glycosuria's irritation to the skin of the vulva, especially with mycotic vulvitis. Many patients first sought medical treatment due to pruritus and redness of the perineum, and diabetes was diagnosed only after further examination.
  2. Jaundice, vitamin A and B deficiency, anemia, leukemia and other chronic diseases in patients with vulval itching, usually part of the systemic itching.
  3. Pudendal congestion during pregnancy and pre-menstrual period may occasionally cause pruritus vulvae discomfort.
  4. Unexplained pruritus vulvae. Some patients have severe pruritus vulvae, but no obvious systemic or local cause can be found. At present, some people think that it may be related to mental or psychological factors.

What Symptom Does Vulva Pruritus Have

Vulvar pruritus is mostly located in clitoris and labia minora, and can also spread to skin lesions such as labia majora, perineum and even perianal region. It is often paroxysmal or persistent, and usually intensifies at night.  Unexplained pruritus vulvae generally occurs only in women of childbearing age or after menopause, affecting the entire external genitalia, but it may be limited to one part or the unilateral vulva. Although the pruritus is very severe and even intolerable, the local skin and mucosa appear normal or only scratched due to excessive scratching.


How To Check Whether To Suffer From Vulval Pruritus

During diagnosis, the course of the disease should be explained in detail, and local and systemic examinations should be carried out carefully. If necessary, vaginal secretions can be extracted for culture and drug sensitivity test.


How To Prevent Vulval Pruritus

Can vulval pruritus use hot water to wash?

The pruritus at anus, labia and scrotum is collectively referred to as pruritus vulvae. There are many pathogens causing pruritus vulvae, such as enterobiasis, trichomonas, scabies, fungi and bacteria. If the etiology is clear, the disease is not difficult to cure. However, at present, more vulval pruritus is not related to these microorganisms, but is a chronic dermatitis or eczema caused by long-term stimulation of physical and chemical factors.

Wrong way 1

Some people mistakenly believe that the vulva is a dirty place, and wash it every night with soap, hot water, saline, cleaning solution or disinfectant, and they also say that it is very comfortable after washing. In fact, vulva is not dirtier than nose and mouth, excessive cleaning, disinfection, it will make the vulva flora imbalance, local inflammation, the pruritus is heavier, and even cause anal inflammation, cystitis, retrograde pyelonephritis, etc.

Wrong way 2

For vulval pruritus, some doctors not only don't advise patients to stop cleaning, but suggested that after cleaning the external application contains cortisone hormone drugs, the result is temporary, when stop using drugs become more itchy, more cure more stubborn, even for many years.

Warm reminder

On weekdays, after defecation or sexual intercourse, only cold water is used to wash the vulva, but water should not be flushed into the anus or vagina to avoid affecting the self-cleaning function of body tissues.

8 points for attention in dealing with pruritus vulvae

  1. Pay attention to menstrual hygiene, menstrual period during regular change menstrual pads, regular cleaning.
  2. Keep the vulva clean and dry, no hot water cleaning, no soap scrubbing.
  3. Avoid disorderly use, drug abuse, avoid scratching and local friction.
  4. Avoid wine and spicy food, do not eat seafood and other easily cause allergic food.
  5. Don't wear tight pants, underwear must be loose, breathable, and with cotton products is advisable.
  6. Local skin if there is any damage, infection, available 1: 5000 potassium permanganate solution (in warm water to add trace potassium permanganate powder, make a reddish, not too strong) immersion, twice a day, 20 ~ 30 minutes each time. It's best to follow the doctor's advice after seeing a doctor.
  7. Go to a doctor to check whether there is mold or trichomonas. If there is, treat it in time, instead of applying "antipruritic water".
  8. Blood glucose should be checked for patients who have not been cured after a long period of treatment.

In addition, if the symptoms of pruritus are serious, accompanied by abnormal vaginal discharge, abdominal pain and other symptoms, it is likely to be an inflammatory infection, and we need to promptly go to the hospital for gynecological related examinations and targeted treatment.

Prevention and treatment of vulval pruritus from "food, clothing, accommodation and transport"

  • Clothing: underwear should be soft loose and keeping clean, with cotton as good, should avoid chemical fiber clothing to wear.
  • Food: Pay attention to the adjustment of gastrointestinal function, with light, fresh vegetables and soy products rich in vitamins is preferred. Taboo smoke, wine, chili, strong tea, coffee and other excitant food.
  • Accommodation: 16℃~20℃ with relative humidity of 30%–40%. When the relative humidity is less than 20%, the indoor air is too dry, and the dust and other sensitizing substances are easy to float in the sky. So should be on the ground water, conditional can enable humidifier.
  • Transport: sensitive person of the skin should reduce activity appropriately not only, notice bathe even unfavorable too frequently, water temperature shoulds not be exorbitant, otherwise sebum of skin surface can be washed, make the skin more dry and easy urticant. Aft bathing, 30 to 50 percent of glycerol can be apply on that body surface. In addition, don't scratch when pruritus occurs, so as to prevent the epidermal cells from undergoing proliferative changes and becoming rough and hypertrophic. As a result, the more scratch, the more pruritus occurs, and a vicious circle is formed.

How To Treat Vulval Pruritus

General treatment

  • Pay attention to the menstrual period health, keep the vulva clean and dry, avoid by all means scratch.
  • Do not use hot water to wash, avoid using soap.
  • If there is infection available potassium permanganate solution for soaking bath.
  • Clothing, especially underwear, should be wide and breathable.
  • Alcohol and spicy or allergic food are prohibited.

Etiological treatment

Eliminate local or systemic factors that cause pruritus, such as trichomonas, mold infection, or diabetes.

Stubborn pruritus vulvae

If you want to cure the intractable pruritus vulvae, you must first stop washing with hot water and soap, and then stop using all the medicines containing cortisone. It may be more itchy at the beginning of drug discontinuation, when the vulva can be wet applied with a thick cold towel, and the towel can be washed once every 3 minutes to keep it in a cooled state. Apply cold compress continuously until it does not itch, and then apply it if it itches.


How To Identify Vulval Pruritus

It should be distinguished from trichomonas vaginitis, mycotic vaginitis and white lesion of vulva.


What Are The Complications Of Vulval Pruritus

Such as diabetes and jaundice.

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