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JanelleRPA
JanelleRPA, Physician Assistant
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 322
Experience:  25 + years of experience in family practice, internal medicine and family planning
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I HAVE NOT GONE THROUGH MENOPAUSE, I AM IN THE BEGINNING STAGES I

Resolved Question:

I AM A 51 YEAR OLD FEMALE. I HAVE NOT GONE THROUGH MENOPAUSE, I AM IN THE BEGINNING STAGES I THINK. I AM ALSO A DIABETIC. I NEED TO KNOW HOW TO TREAT EXTERNAL FEMENINE ITCH, <IN THE HAIRLINE ONLY>. IT IS DRIVING ME CRAZY!!!
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  JanelleRPA replied 9 years ago.

Good morning,

There's a condition called lichen simplex chronicus which causes chronic itching. It can occur anywhere on the body but the genital area is a common problem spot for women. For men, the most common spots are the back of the neck or the ankle. Often it will begin with a minor event, like a pimple or insect bite. Itching leads to scratching which causes more itching and more scratching so that soon a cycle is established that continues long after the original cause has resolved. The skin in the area becomes increasingly thickened (lichenified). The treatment is a topical steroid and a barrier to prevent itching. Over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream may not be potent enough to reverse the effect of long term itching, but it's worth a try. There are more potent topical steriods available by prescription. A barrier (such as an adhesive bandage large enough to cover the area) will prevent scratching and help drive the cortisone cream into the tissues (this is called occlusion). Most people can safely take an antihistamine (like diphenhydramine - brand name Benadryl) to help with the itching, with the caution that it may make you drowsy during the day. I hope this guidance has been helpful. If so please click accept. Very best wishes, JanelleRPAC

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
what products are safe to use in the genital area? also, what is the cause and is it due to diabetes or menopause?
Expert:  JanelleRPA replied 9 years ago.

Hello again,

IF the problem is lichen simplex chronicus, it isn't due to either diabetes or menopause. As I said, it happens to both men and women and is caused by anything that starts itching (even a very minor event like a pimple or insect bite) and it becomes a fixed itch/scratch/itch/scratch cycle. A topical steroid (along with barrier - which is very important) is the treatment. A topical steroid without a barrier will be much, much less effective. It's worth a try to see if an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream will be potent enough to do the job. If not, stronger topical steroids are available by prescription. You didn't say how long you have been bothered by the itching in your suprapubic area, but chronic itching causes the skin to thicken, and that may take weeks to be reversed. Best wishes and best regards, JanelleRPAC

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