Vaginal Itching, Burning, and Irritation
How are vaginal itching, burning, and irritation treated? continued...
How vaginal discomfort is treated depends on what condition is causing the problem:
Vaginosis and STDs are treated with antibiotics/antiparasitics.
Yeast infections are treated with antifungal medications. They are inserted into the vagina in the form of creams, ointments, or suppositories, or they are taken orally. You can buy these medications over the counter in different doses -- one-day, three-day, seven-day. However, if you've never been diagnosed with a yeast infection, see your doctor before taking any over-the-counter medication.
Menopause-related itching may be treated with estrogen cream, tablets, or a vaginal ring insert.
Other types of itching and irritation respond to steroid creams or lotions, which reduce inflammation. A prescription-strength steroid cream can relieve the irritation of lichen sclerosis.
In young girls, it's important to report any itching, burning, or irritation to a health care provider, because these symptoms can be signs of sexual abuse.
Are there home remedies for vaginal itching, burning, and irritation?
Here are a few tips for preventing and treating vaginal irritation at home:
- Avoid scented pads or toilet paper, creams, bubble bath, feminine sprays, and douches.
- Use water and a plain, unscented soap to regularly clean your external genital area. But don't wash more than once a day. Doing so can increase dryness.
- Always wipe from front to back after having a bowel movement.
- Wear cotton panties (no synthetic fabrics), and change your underwear every day.
- Do not douche.
- Change the diapers of infant girls regularly.
- Use condoms during sexual intercourse to prevent sexually transmitted diseases.
- If you are experiencing vaginal dryness, use a vaginal moisturizer. Apply a water-based lubricant (K-Y, Astroglide) before having sex.
- Avoid sexual intercourse until your symptoms improve.
- Don't scratch -- you can further irritate the area.