WHAT IS PRURITIS VULVAE?
As the name suggests, itching around the vulva. An acute
or chronic disorder of the skin characterized by severe itching around the vulva (the
vaginal lips) and anus. It is not contagious.
Female adolescents and adults, especially after
SIGNS & SYMPTOMS
- Intense itching, increased sensitivity and irritation in
the genital area. The skin may be dry.
- Discomfort during sexual intercourse.
- Thin, white vaginal discharge (sometimes).
- Skin disease, such as psoriasis
or lichen planus.
- Systemic disease, such as diabetes.
- Atrophy and dryness caused by estrogen deficiency in menopause.
- Skin reaction to irritants, such as sanitary pads; soap;
deodorants; powders; perfume; toilet tissue and fabric.
- Systemic allergies, including food allergies.
- Disorder of the vagina or rectum, such as vaginitis or piles.
RISK INCREASES WITH
- Days prior to menstruation.
- Hot, humid weather.
- Diabetes mellitus.
- Lack of urinary control.
HOW TO PREVENT
- Wear cotton panties rather than nylon.
- Avoid contact with irritants listed above.
- Treat underlying causes.
- Suggestive symptoms.
- History and physical exam by a doctor.
Secondary bacterial infection of the inflamed skin.
Home treatment usually provides relief in 4 to 7 days. If
medical treatment becomes necessary, allow 2 weeks for recovery.
- Follow suggestions under How to Prevent.
- Keep the area as dry and cool as possible. Wear loose
- Don't scratch the itchy area. Scratching will aggravate
soreness and irritation.
- Wash the genital area with water and unscented soap only
once a day.
- Use a lubricant during intercourse.
- After urinating or passing stools, clean the genital area
gently with absorbent cotton or antiseptic wipes. Wipe from front to back (vagina to anus).
- During menstruation, try using tampons rather than
sanitary napkins until the disorder heals.
Your doctor may prescribe low-potency steroid creams or
ointments and lotions to reduce inflammation. These require 24 to 36 hours to provide
- Hormone containing ointments.
- Some tablets at night to ensure rest.
Avoid overexertion, heat and excessive sweating.
No special diet, except to avoid foods to which you may
CONTACT YOUR DOCTOR, IF
- You have symptoms of pruritis vulvae.
- Symptoms don't improve in 2 weeks, despite treatment.
- Scratching leads to skin infection.
- New, unexplained symptoms develop. Drugs used in treatment
may produce side effects.