Why do I get itchiness over the Feminine region?

Itchiness anywhere in body can cause significant distress, more so when it is over the genital region. The vagina is actually a complex maze of various 'good bacteria' in an acidic environment to prevent external sources of infection. However, sometimes this balance of bacteria can get upset with the act of douching, which is basically washing the inside of the vagina, leading to the manifestation of vaginal complaints.

Where exactly is the itch arising from?

This can be a difficult question to answer at times because the itch can be difficult to localize. When it arises, think about where you feel the maximum discomfort - is it the region outside the vagina where the skin area is, or is it actually arising from within the vagina? This is important to differentiate as the causes for each are slightly different and the treatment as well. Sometimes they overlap and the itch happens both inside and outside the vagina, which also helps to narrow down the cause for the itchiness.

The itch is mainly over the outside, what could it be?

Consider some common causes which could be related to lifestyle reasons first before we talk about some medical conditions that might be causing it.

Shaving irritation and stubs

This is not an uncommon reason for external vaginal itching because for women who regularly shave, the short hair stubs can cause local itching. To avoid this, either choose to stop shaving altogether or shave at regular intervals to prevent these short stubs from forming. It is however, if you notice small bumps over the shaving sites, it might be from folliculitis or infection around the hair folliculitis and this will need topical antibiotic treatment.

Irritant contact dermatitis

This is yet another common cause for external vaginal itching, often from lifestyle choices. It is from direct tissue damage following a single exposure or multiple exposures to a known irritant. In this case, it could be a variety of triggers, ranging from direct application like soaps, feminine washes, shaving cream, perfume sprays to secondary uses like panty materials, toilet paper, local wipes. So think back to any recent changes or additions to your feminine hygiene routine, and one of these causes could actually be triggering it!