If you are a woman, no matter what your age is, you might have, at some point of time, experienced vaginal itching and burning. And no one other than you knows how uncomfortable it is. So, let’s discuss today about why this vaginal itching and burning occur and how to get rid of it!
Causes of Vaginal Itching and Burning
Most of the times vaginal itching, burning and irritation is not a major concern. However, sometimes, it might be due to some infection and then it becomes a concern if proper treatment is not done on time. So, you must know the symptoms associated with each of the causes of vaginal discomfort so that you may know when and how to deal with the issue.
You might be knowing that there are healthy bacteria living in this part of your body, to protect your sensitive organ. But sometimes, bad bacteria do invade and outgrow the number of good ones. This is commonly known as Bacterial vaginosis. So, along with vaginal itching, if you have inflammation, burning, discharges, and a fishy odor, visit a doctor to treat your vaginal infection.
When the yeast candida grow excessively in your vagina and vulva, you suffer from what is called vaginal candidiasis. You will see a thick, white, cheesy discharge along with vaginal itching. Take proper steps to treat the condition.
Sexually transmitted disease or STDs
Such diseases as chlamydia, genital herpes, genital warts, trichomoniasis, and gonorrhea can also lead to itching and irritation in vagina and vulva. The symptoms may include bumps, sores, or warts near mouth, anus and vagina; swelling in vagina, painful urination, night sweats, fevers and chills, vaginal discharge, bleeding from vagina (not menstruation), pain during intercourse, and severe itching in vagina. These diseases need immediate and proper treatment.
The vagina walls of a woman gets dry and thin when she experiences menopause. This is due to the decrease in the production of estrogen hormone. This also causes vaginal itching and irritation.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Due to hormonal fluctuation, these conditions also make the vaginal walls dry and thin. This leads to vaginal itching and irritation.
The vagina of a woman comes in contact of various products that have a lots of chemicals in them such as creams, douches, contraceptive foams, laundry detergents, soaps, scented toilet paper, fabric softeners, and condoms. These chemical irritants are also a major cause of vaginal itching and burning.
Certain skin issues like Lichen sclerosus which mostly affects the genital and anal areas can also give you vaginal itching along with thin white patches around vulva (and sometimes in other parts also like breasts and upper arms). This is common in women after menopause. The symptoms include bleeding, blisters, and white spots on skin that might give permanent scars, bleeding, discomfort, pain and itching in vagina or around vaginal area.
Home Remedies for Vaginal Itching and Burning
Sometimes it becomes imperative to go to the doctor to treat your vaginal itching and irritation, especially when it is due to severe causes like bacterial or yeast infection, STDs etc. The doctor will treat you with essential antibiotics and anti-fungal medicines. Sometimes, they also prescribe such treatments as estrogen cream, tablets, vaginal ring inserts, steroid creams or lotions etc. If your vaginal itching and burning is not due to certain serious causes mentioned above, you can depend upon home remedies as well. These remedies will give you soothing relief from vaginal itching and burning and will also help cure mild inflammation and redness etc.
1. Cold Water or Cold Compress
Water is the first and the most effective home treatment to start with. Sometimes heat is the cause of your vaginal itching like when chemicals come in contact with this sensitive skin area of your body. As simple a thing as cold water can help you get rid of vaginal itching and burning. Cold compress can also be used for numbing effect.
- Rinse the vaginal area with cold water. Never use soaps or other cleansing products when you experience discomfort here. Just wash it off with cold water and dry it properly.
- If you wish, you can shower the vaginal area but with utmost caution. Never do it directly in the vagina. Shower the area in a downward position.
- For cold compress, take some ice cubes and wrap them up in a clean cloth. Place this ice pack on your vagina for a couple of minutes. Remove it and use it again after a minute or so. Keep doing this till your itching goes away.
2. Yogurt for Vaginal Itching
Yogurt has live and active lactobacillus acidophilus cultures or the good bacteria that can maintain a healthy balance of friendly bacteria in the vagina. You need to take anti-bacterial drugs in severe cases of itching and irritation. However, if it is only a mild itching and irritation, you can depend on the natural sources like yogurt. But never use flavored or sweetened yogurt. They can aggravate the condition. Use only plain yogurt for the purpose.
- Take some plain yogurt and with the help of cotton or clean finger, apply this to your vagina.
- You can also soak a tampon in plain yogurt and insert this into your vagina for about an hour. Don’t forget to remove the tampon after a maximum of two hours.
- You can also consume plain yogurt daily. This will restore the balance of good bacteria internally.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar for Itching in Vagina
Due to its antibacterial and anti fungal properties, apple cider vinegar is one of the popular remedies for vaginal itching. It also helps maintain the alkaline environment in the vagina so that the bad bacteria find it difficult to survive there.
- Take 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar and 1 cup of water. To be safe, boil the water and let it cool down to room temperature. You may also use it when it is slightly warm. Add the tbsp of apple cider vinegar to this clean water. Now rinse your vagina with t his water. Do this 2-3 times a day.
- You may also take apple cider vinegar internally to make your body more alkaline and free of harmful bacteria as well as yeast. Add 2-3 tsp of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water. Have this twice a day.
4. Tea Tree Oil for Vaginal Itching
Tea tree oil has strong antibacterial properties. In fact, this essential oil is very effective in treating yeast infection too. So, if your vaginal discomfort is due to mild yeast infection, you can always first try tree tea oil before you go to the doctor. If, however, this or other remedies for vaginal itching do not give you comfort, you should see your physician and get proper treatment.
- Have a tea tree oil bath soak. For this, add 4-6 drops of tea tree oil to your bath water and mix well. Sit in this water for about 10 minutes, daily till you get relief.
- Take 1-2 tbsp of aloe vera gel. Add 4-5 drops of tea tree oil to this and mix well. Apply this to your vagina and surrounding areas.
5. Chamomile for Vaginal Itching and Burning
If you also experience burning along with itching, it could be due to swelling and redness in your vagina. Chamomile is a soothing herb and you can use it to relieve the vaginal inflammation to get rid of burning and irritation there. To make it more effective, you can add tea tree oil to it.
- Chamomile tea bag- 1-2 (or chamomile herb- 1 tsp)
- Tea tree oil- 4-5 drops
- Water- 1-2 cups
- Boil the water.
- If using herb, add the chamomile to the boiling water and let it simmer for about 5 minutes. Put off the flame and let it steep for another 5 minutes. Strain it.
- If using tea bags, dip the bag in hot water and steep for 5 minutes. Remove the bag.
- Once the tea is cooled down to room temperature or is slightly warm, add the tea tree oil to this.
- Rinse your vagina with this herbal solution.
- Do this 1-2 times a day.
6. Boric Acid for Vaginal Yeast Infection
Boric acid is a very effective anti-fungal agent. It can, in fact, combat some of the very resistant types of yeast infections. However, it is a poison when you take it internally. So, when using boric acid to treat vaginal itching at home, use it cautiously.
- Boric acid- ¼ tsp
- Water- 1 cup Or Gelatin capsule
- Combine boric acid and water and mix well.
- Rinse your vagina with this solution.
- Alternatively, you can fill a gelatin capsule with boric acid and insert it into your vagina.
Most gelatin capsules dissolve naturally inside there. If, however, it doesn’t dissolve on its own, remove it after 2-3 hours.
7. Garlic for Vaginal Itching
Garlic has come to occupy a very special place in the arena of home remedies, thanks to its excellent antibacterial and antibiotic properties. If you have been able to understand the symptoms in the initial phase of yeast or bacterial infection of vagina, garlic can help you stop it right there.
- Take a medium sized garlic clove, peel it and make several incisions on the sides of the garlic clove using a knife. Insert it in your vagina and leave it there for 2-3 hours or overnight. Remove it after such time. You can again insert another garlic clove after sometime.
- If you don’t want to insert anything in your vagina, you can use garlic oil. Take 1 tsp of vitamin E oil and mix it with few drops of garlic oil. Mix well and apply this to your vaginal area. Leave it for 10-15 minutes before washing it off with some warm water.
8. Coconut Oil for Vaginal Itching
Coconut oil hydrates the dry skin that might be causing itchiness in your vaginal area. But what is interesting is that this oil can effectively treat yeast infection by exploding the nucleus of Candida yeast cell! The lauric, capric, and caprylic acids present in coconut oil makes it antiviral, antimicrobial, and anti fungal agent. Its caprylic acid breaks down the cell membrane of yeast. When taken internally, lauric acid boosts your immune system.
- Apply coconut oil to the vaginal area several times a day.
- Add 3-4 tbsp of coconut oil to 6-8 cups of water. Rinse your vagina with this mixture.
- Add few drops of garlic oil and vitamin E oil to some coconut oil and apply this to your vaginal area.
- Consume 2-3 tbsp of coconut oil daily.
9. Sea Salt or Epsom Salt for Vaginal Itching
Salt is known to control the growth of microbes including bacteria and fungi. Sea salt has excellent anti-bacterial properties. Epsom salt is also good when it is about treating infections at home.
- Add 1 tbsp of salt to 2-3 cups of water and wash your vagina with this.
- Add ½ cup of salt to your bath water and sit in this for about 10 minutes.
- Take a bottle and add 1 tsp sea salt along with 2-4 drops each of lavender, thyme, rosemary and chamomile essential oils. Fill to the top with water. Rinse your vagina with this 2-3 times a day.
10. Neem for Vaginal Itching
Neem has been traditionally used by Ayurveda for treating skin conditions like eczema and also infections including vaginal infections. Neem, also called Indian Lilac or Margosa, has strong anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Use it to treat your vaginal itching and irritation.
- Take a handful of neem leaves and boil them in 3-4 cups of water for 5-10 minutes. Let it cool down before rinsing the vaginal area. Do this 1-2 times daily.
- You can also use neem oil. Add few drops of this oil in water and rinse your vagina with this.
- Add few drops of neem oil with coconut oil and apply this to your vagina and surrounding areas. Wipe it off after about 15-20 minutes.
Tips to Prevent and Treat Vaginal Itching at Home
Maintain proper hygiene
Proper hygiene is the pre-requisite to prevent vaginal itching.
- Change your underwear daily.
- Take a bath or shower daily and wash the vagina properly with water only.
- As vagina has the capability of cleaning itself, you don’t need to use harsh soaps or cleansing agents for this part of your body. Using these products brings the sensitive skin here in contact with chemicals that might aggravate itching.
- Don’t wash the vagina excessively. It results in dry skin causing more itching.
Deal with vaginal area cautiously
It is crucial because vagina, anus and urinary openings lie close to each other and you might catch infections that may give rise to vaginal itching and burning.
- After bowel movement, always wipe from front to back.
- Do not douche
- Change the diapers of infant girls frequently and regularly.
- Avoid sexual intercourse when experiencing vaginal itchiness and burning
- To avoid sexually transmitted diseases, lay stress on using condoms.
- Don’t scratch. This only aggravates the problem.
Proper clothing is important in stopping vaginal itching
Tight fitting clothes do not let the air keep your vagina dry. They also irritate your skin every time you move.
- Don’t wear too tight clothes. Loose clothing allows air to keep your body dry. Sweat can be the culprit for your recurring vaginal infections.
- Wear breathable clothes such as cotton. It wicks away the moisture and keeps the area dry. Cotton underwear also do not irritate skin like the synthetic ones do.
- Avoid wearing those fabrics that make your vagina itchy and hot. Don’t wear polyester, spandex, Lycra, lace, tights etc. close to your sensitive area.
Avoid irritating products
Chemical irritants are one of the major causes of vaginal itching and burning.
- Avoid fragrances added to products like toilet paper, laundry detergent and bubble bath.
- Don’t use soaps to clean vagina.
- Don’t use feminine hygiene sprays and douches. Remember, vagina is a self-cleaning organ. Water is enough to clean it.
Pay attention to your diet
Your diet should make your body more alkaline.
- Avoid refined carbohydrates.
- Don’t have sugar. Yeast feed on this.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Have a lots of fermented foods like probiotic yogurt, kefir and miso.
- Have lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Avoid wine and cut back on alcohol
- Avoid sweetened, carbonated drinks
Avoid allergen that give you vaginal itching
Sometimes, certain thing or food etc. triggers allergic reactions that give rise to inflammation, itching and burning sensation in your vagina. Avoid these allergens
- It can be a perfume in a soap, laundry detergent, or lotion that comes in contact with your vagina. Use fragrance-free products or nothing.
- It may be a fabric. Wear cotton or such other skin friendly breathable fabric close to your vagina. 100 percent cotton is the best solution.
- It may be some food item that triggers itching. Identify these foods and avoid having them.
All these precautions will help you stop vaginal itching and burning.