Vaginal rash and itching can be caused by many conditions:
- Menopause: Menopause leads to a drop in estrogen levels and this causes thinning of the lining of the vagina and dryness. This can give rise to intense itching associated with rash. A PAP smear is required.
- Yeast infection: this is associated with a thick curd like discharge. This is not a sexually transmitted disease, it is the body's inborn yeast elements which overgrow. It can be brought on by pregnancy, birth control pills, sexual intercourse, diabetes, etc. Treatment can be tried initially with OTC creams which are available at pharmacies.
- Contact dermatitis-- Irritant contact dermatitis can be caused by your clothes, detergents, soaps, contraceptive creams, in fact, anything which comes into contact with your vagina. You should make a careful note of this and change your brands.
- Vaginosis: This is an overgrowth of bacteria in the vagina. Rash and itching is associated with a clear, foul smelling discharge which has a 'fishy' odour. It is brought on by antibiotics, frequent sexual intercourse, menopause, etc. It can also occur before puberty.
- Skin Conditions: Certain skin conditions like Lichen Sclerosus, Lichen Planus and Lichen Simplex Chronicus can cause rash and itching of this type. Gynaecologists will usually fail to recognize this, in case of intractable itching which is not controlled after treatment by a gynaecologist, a dermatological consultation to rule these out is in order.
One of the commonest causes of itching not associated with discharge in younger age group is contact dermatitis. You should assume this to be the cause first. Treatment is to search for the irritant cause, such as sopa or underwear, etc. You should also take Tab. Alavert10 mg once daily for 10 days.
If you are approaching menopause, or are menopausal, then vaginal thinning associated with menopause is the most likely cause. This can treated fairly simply with estrogen creams, which are available OTC at all pharmacies. Nother common cause is Irritant dermatitis. Treatment is to search for the irritant cause, such as sopa or underwear, etc. You can also take Tab. Alavert10 mg once daily at night .
If this does not help, you should consult your gynaecologist and get checked up. You will also need investigations like a PAP smear. Besides this, you may need to consult a dermatologist if it is not relieved.
You can read up here for some discussion and tips for home treatment. You can also read up here for dermatological causes of vaginal itching.
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