Genital itching is a common problem that affects most women at some time. It is an annoying, uncomfortable issue that is often the symptom of an underlying problem. Most women have short episodes of genital itching, but if it persists and is accompanied by other symptoms, it’s important to visit your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
What Causes Genital Itching?
Genital itching can often be traced to sensitivity to chemical irritants in products such as douches, soaps, vaginal wipes, or feminine hygiene sprays. Yeast infections can also cause genital itching. However, there are times when itching of the external genitalia may be due to a condition known as lichen sclerosus.
What Is Lichen Sclerosus?
Lichen sclerosus is a non-infectious skin condition that typically affects the vulva in women and causes itching so severe it’s difficult to resist scratching. Scratching the skin can lead to soreness and irritation. Scar tissue can also develop on the vulva and narrow the vaginal opening, resulting in painful intercourse.
At the outset, lichen sclerosus can cause subtle changes in the appearance of the skin. It makes the skin shiny, wrinkly, and sticky. If the condition is left untreated, the interlabial folds and the base of the vagina can eventually fuse, and fissures (small tears) may develop if these areas are separated.
Lichen sclerosus is a part of the family of dermatoses that includes skin conditions such as psoriasis, dandruff, and eczema.
How Is Lichen Sclerosus Diagnosed?
Lichen sclerosus is usually diagnosed by a careful examination of the skin in the affected area. However, the early symptoms of lichen sclerosus are mild, so they are often missed by doctors unfamiliar with the condition. As a result, if you are experiencing prolonged genital itching, it’s best to consult with a vulvovaginal specialist with significant experience treating lichen sclerosus.
How Is Genital Itching Resolved?
Lichen sclerosus cannot be cured, but it can be managed when diagnosed early and treated promptly. Severe cases of lichen sclerosus may need to be initially treated with high-strength corticosteroids until the symptoms are under control. Once this is achieved, the condition can be managed in the long term with low-dose corticosteroids. Low-dose corticosteroids can also treat mild to moderate cases of lichen sclerosus.
The vaginal care experts at Fowler GYN International (FGI) regularly treat women with lichen sclerosus. They provide a customized treatment protocol and also recommend patients use only hypocontactant skincare products.
Conventional feminine hygiene products contain chemical irritants. Hypocontactant skincare products are ideal for women with sensitive genital tissues as they are free of dyes, fragrances, and chemicals that can irritate the skin and cause genital itching.
FeminaRx Pure Skincare Collection
The FeminaRx Pure Skincare Collection is the ideal blend of products for women with genital itching. The collection includes:
- hypocontactant soap
- moisturizing skin lotion
- astringent skin rinse for the external genitalia
- nonreactive water-based vaginal lubricant for intercourse
- non-water based labial emollient for sports and exercise to prevent tissue friction
- special-blend shaving cream for the genital area.
Cleansing the genital area is necessary to prevent the build-up of secretions in the labial creases. If there is a build-up of secretions, it can lead to the growth of yeast and bacteria that can irritate the skin.