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Itch-Scratch-Itch...uncontrollable labia itch
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Itch-Scratch-Itch...uncontrollable labia itch

H-E-L-P!!!

I've had this uncontrollable itch on my outer labia's for the past 7 years. Everyday I itch, I feel like a freak because I am always scratching (not in public). My labia gets sore from the scratching and I break skin often from scratching. I have tried everthing, but it doesn't go away. I know it's not an STD because I went to the doctor's and have been tested.  However they haven't helped me none.  The labia skin is thickened from the scratching, is very dry (white-like) and flaky (at times).  So are my inner thighs at the crease yet they do not itch that often. There are no bumps but my skin is raised, and I don't know what it is.  I thought about Lichen, but I do not see my vagina changing in that form, like the pictures that I have researched.  Please Please help me figure out what other problems there might be. I have been in the same relationship all this time.  Also, if you know any remedies for the itching, please send my way. I use All Free & Clear laundry detergent, and wash with warm water as I fell needed throughout the day. I also don't get my period often, I tied my tubes in 2003, so I don't take any BC. I am not on any medication.  Just looking for what else might there be...

Thanks, Itchy_Itchy
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Avatar_n_tn
Man, I am sorry you are going through this, it must be awful! Have you seen a dermatologist? Maybe it is something fungal? I have been doing some serching around the medical journals and such, but haven't seen anything that resembles your symptoms yet. I will post back if I do.

I know this is a silly and personal question, but are you wearing cotton/breathable undergraments and looser fitting pants? Sometimes that really helps, keeps the air circulating.

Andi
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another person question: Do you shave your pubic hair or trim it really really short. I know that when I trim mine really short and the 1-2 times that I have shaved, it got severly itchy until the hair grew back. It was like 2-3 weeks before the itching went away completely.

I know that my legs get really itchy from shaving, so after I shave I put baby oil on them. You might try using baby oil to moisturize the area.
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Okay, I just found some information, but I will leave it up to you to read all of the information : )

http://www.medem.com/MedLB/article_detaillb.cfm?article_ID=ZZZQX9DQA7C&sub_cat=9

"Problems that affect other parts of the body also may affect the vulva. Psoriasis, for instance, is a skin disease that can appear on the vulva as red, thick, scaly patches that may itch.

Vulvar Dystrophy
A vulvar dystrophy is abnormal skin on the vulva. The skin can be too thin (lichen sclerosus), too thick (hyperplasia), or a mixture of both."

I am obviously not a doctor and am in no way diagnosing any conditions, but maybe you could research these further and seek out a dermatologist or a gynecologist with some experience in this area.

Andi
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Thanks for the info...I'll check and then reference back what I find.  I do wear only cotton underwear now since reading around I found out that it'll help. I did notice that tight clothing did irritate after I took the clothing off. I would itch bad. I stopped shaving about 2 years ago, because I did notice that I got irritated by it when the hair would start to grow back.  I din't think that it would be connected to a dermatology problem. I do have sensitive skin, I've never tested for allergens or anything.  Well I'm gonna check what you all found and let you know...please let me know if you find anything else! Thanks!
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Avatar_n_tn
Psoriasis was what immediately came to mind. My dh has a pretty moderate case on his scalp. He was given a few different topical treatments to help. Maybe they can offer the same for you if this is the case.

Good luck, let us know how it turns out.

Andi
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Avatar_n_tn
Well I found some really awesome info out there...thanks for the tip.

It looks like it's vulva dystrophy.  It describes my symptoms and said that it can be linked to Thyroid disorders, and I have a thyroid disorder.  WOW!  The only thing is that it is usually fouund in older women, and I'm not old, but is not uncommon to be found in younger women.  Well it looks like a trip to the Dr is in order here.  At least I have something to walk in with somewhere to start...not just wasting money and all...lol...

Well, I'll post what I find out, hopefully this will work!
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Good luck! Hopefully you will finally be able to find an answer in all of this. I will keep checking back, so if you find out anyhting new, post it here.

Andi
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Avatar_f_tn
I've been suffering from vulva itching almost all my live from time to time. Like you, I've tried to help myself, I've seen doctor's and use the medicines they gave to me and being very careful about my hygiene but it seems it never worked because the relief was always temporarily.
I've read all the books about it and I reached some conclusions which helped me a lot.
I always wash my vulva with cold water(warm water tends do dry the skin)and I use a moisturizer soap (after trying different brands I've found Dove Beauty Bar very good)
I use a vulva moisturizer every day (I use one from a Spanish laboratory because I only came to this country about 3 months ago, but I'm sure there are something identical here).
I avoid sleeping with my panties on and also to wear jeans or very tight trousers.
I also try not to use daily pantiliners or underwear made of synthetic material.
When the skin is inflamed and the itch is impossible to bear I try not to scratch and I use ice involved in a towel to ease and relieve the discomfort.
I hope this will help you too.
Sorry about my English.
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Avatar_n_tn
hey i have the EXACT same problem!!
i am going to see a doctor tomorrow because i thought it was a yeast infection but i have been tested for that before and i didn't have anything. I've have the problem for as long as i can remember..and i did realize that wearing tight clothes makes it worse...but im only 20! all of my clothes are well fitted!..and i realized when i take off the clothes and get into my PJ's the itching is horrible! its always worst in the night...
i don't know what to do!!!
HELP!!!!
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Avatar_n_tn
I, too, have had the same problem. I found that the only thing that will releive it, is simple Hydrocortison cream. It is available most everywhere. After cleaning the area, apply it, it will releive the itch.
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I also have the same problem (since pre-puberty) and have not found anything that works.  My dermo says that it's eczema and I'm currently using a hydrocortisone cream which alleviates the itch temporarily.  I find that it gets worse when I'm stressed and when it's really hot out.  Unfortunately, it's something that's here to stay.  I actually prefer to use a pantyliner everyday as the skin is so sensitive that it either hurts or feels funny rubbing against my panties.  I like the feeling of 'padding' and also, the skin gets raw sometimes and will stick to my panties (sorry for being so graphic!).  It hurts when I take my panties off.  

As the area gets dry & flaky, I'm going to pick up a gentle cleanser that will keep the skin moisturized and will let you know if I find one that helps.  I've tried several before.

Please let us know what your dermo says.  I'd like to see what other options I have as my dermo only recommends the hydrocortisone.
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Just in case anyone is reading this.. i had the same thing, was never diagnosed with anything and i used a topical cream aveeno anti itch. I assume mine is ecxsema (spelling) But i also have psoriasis on my scalp. Good luck to all those itching!! haha.. its very uncomfortable.
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I was so desperate in trying to find out why I have this itch problem. It has been SO VERY SEVERE that I have been to a gynocologist 4 times. Each time hoping they would find SOMETHING!!  They never found anything that would cause that severe of an itch. My outer labia sometimes itch so friggin bad it makes me cry. It sometimes feels like a nerve thing though because sometimes it makes me jump. Does anyone else feel like it's a nerve thing??   I wanted to mention, that not too long ago, my husband was getting cortisone shots in his back, and one of the side affects is itching in his genitals and upper thighs. Somehow it does something to the nerves there, and when he described to me exactly what I feel everytime this itching starts, I literally started crying because he decribed what I couldn't.  His description was this; "it feels like there are bugs under your skin trying to crawl out." It's kind of a tingling sensation too.                                        I have been tormented so very badly over this itching that I swear sometimes I could go crazy!  This itch WAKES me up several times during the night, and gets so bad that I use a hair brush with wire bristles to scratch, leaving myself raw. Problem with that is that when the itching starts again I can barely do anything about it because it hurts to scratch it on raw skin.  I have several tubes of cortizone cream, which provide only temporary relief, and I take Benedryl pretty regular, only to feel very drowsy and have a hard time waking up in the morning.
I don't know if you guys have it this bad, but I sure feel for those of you with ANY itch problem.  If anyone else has this same condition, please write so we can compare notes, ok?
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I've noticed a red bump on my inner labia! I'm totally freaking out!! I'm going to see a doctor but i was wondering if anybody out there has this!! Please help ...any advice??
Thanks
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I started having this same problem over four months ago. It felt like poison oak had somehow gotten in my underwear. I have been to three doctors, and tried every oc medication on the market, as well as natural medication, and what ever the doctors perscribe. I will get temporary reliefe, and think it is finally going away, and then bam! It's back. I was glad to see I was not alone with this problem. The doctors said my test all came back normal, and they are not sure what I have. I do have a thyroid problem also and take sythroid. I am going to look into this connection. I am also 47 years old, all though my hormone level checked out normal. Keep writing in, maybe we will be able to help each other somehow.
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I've had exactly what you describe for the last 2 years - it's better I believe because of a regiman I've adopted.  First of all I've lost weight - that has helped with pressure on area due to sitting - no matter how loose your pants and underwear are, I believe the pressure is a factor.  Second, I've been using this cream called FreeDerm for the past two months.  Since I've been using that, I haven't woken up between 2 and 3 AM EVERY SINGLE DAY to itch for an hour before I can go back to bed.  I still take 2 dye free benadryl every evening - I'm afraid to stop that.  In addition, I've been going to the tanning salon for 10 minutes once a week - I don't want skin cancer but it has cleared up the eczema on my arms and stomach and I'm hoping on my labia.  My gyne is actually pretty good and after performing two biopsy's says I have lichen sclerosis - complex version - I'm slightly in doubt about that because after 2 years of intense scratching, anyone's skin would be hardened.  

I feel for all of you with these symptoms, nothing the doctors seem to do works and it's easy for them to say 'stop itching' but until they have felt the 'bugs' crawling under their skin night after night....  one thing that has interested me is that I wake up at exactly the same time every night to start to scratch - I'm doing some internet searches on Chinese medicine - they believe that all the organs have a time when they are active - and since skin is our largest organ it makes sense.

Good luck everyone!
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Everyone,

I am new to this site. I am 32 years old and have been suffering from vulvar itching for the last 3 years. I have been to about 4 doctors, and still no answer. I have had 4 biopsies, and have had 2 laser surgeries for VIN 11. However, I still have the vulvar itching. I have gone back for another biopsie and nothing was found. I also have a clear discharge (alot) everyday. My labia is always itching, I also feel a very small bump on my libia. My doctor has prescribed creams, allergy pills, but nothing is working. I am so depressed not knowing why I have this ANNOYING itch. It makes me feel like I am dirty. I feel like the doctors think I am making this up. One side of my vulvar is larger then the other, my doctor said the only thing that came back from the last biopsi is inflammation. However, nothing was prescribed. Is it possible if they don't do a biopsie in the right place that they are missing something?

Any advice?

Thanks!
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I posted on this earlier saying I had this problem and that I ha a doctors appointment...i think i love my doctor because what he gave me works like a miracle AND smells good!!!!
the name of the cream is VIADERM KC 1% CR...
its amazing! I used it 4 times a day for a few days and the itch was gone..and if i feel even slightly itchy..which i hardly do..i just apply the cream and its gone!

AMAZING STUFF!!!

my doctor even told me that i would feel like a new woman after using this..an i do!!!

i hope this works for all of you..
i just wanted to share this with everyone because i've lived with this problem for as long as i can remember...im only 20! and when i was a kid i refused to wear jeans because that made it worse...
and i dont want to live like that..

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Hi Girls, I am 44 years old and have had this ITCH since I was 18. At the age of 23 I had a biopy and was diagnosed with VULVA DYSTROPHY. I have been on a cream (wich is a compound,and is hard to find.) It is Eurex Cr with Valisone. The big name drug stores don't make it. So I found a mom pop drug store who does compounds. And he mails it once a year. Let me tell you that cream was a life saver . I had tried everything, Differant MD's telling me this and giving me that. That biopsy made life a whole lot better. Now I control it. But, I still have itching till this day. I have learned to live with it. I was told by a MD once "IT is a old lady disease". I really had trouble when I was younger thinking I had to live with this the rest of my life. I have to take that med with me evrytime I go overnight anywhere. The funny thing is 2 of my daughters now have the same itching and white flaky patches. My 19 year old is going to see her MD today with research from the internet on this condition. Believe me a lot of MD's don't know what this is. And dont treat right because they dont know about it.
Good luck
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Oh my goodness!! I am so glad I stumbled upon this. I was looking up so other things on the internet and I ran onto this link. My questions and prays have been answered. I was wondering what was this itching. It something that recently happened to me. I am only 20 and this has been bothering me for the last 3 months. I would literally scratch myself raw and I could see where the skin was broken. I tried creams and ant-fungal stuff, but the itching continues. Where does this come from? Poor hygiene? Genes? What? Is it contagious? I have so many questions!! I go to the OB/GYN this summer for a check up, I will have to tell him about my conditon. I noticed that my arm was doing the same thing yesterday...the flacking...and I began to think it was some type of skin condition....I do excema and my uncle has psorarsis...so...
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Wow, it's amazing to read all these stories, I too thought I was the only one!
I thought I would share a couple of things that have brought some temporary relief to me - Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Soothing Relief cream, it's mild and has lidocaine in it, so the relief is very fast and it's not greasy at all.  Another thing that helped me for a couple of years was taking Oil of Olay's Energy vitamin paks.  I started taking them for energy, but the side effect was a complete rollback of my itching and other symptoms.  However, over the past few months they seemed to have quit working (darn it!), so I'm not sure if that will help anyone else or not.  But it's worth a shot.
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I have been reading everything that is posted about the itching and how no one knows how to treat it.
I have the exact symptoms.  It drives me nuts, especially in public when I cannot itch. I have had it for like 2 or 3 yrs.  I also read online that if you have HPV you can get this.  Well when I was pregnant with my son they told me I had this.  I feel so dirty having that, but I am not a dirty person.  I am glad to hear others have this symptom and can help me out.
I found a lot of helpful information, which I will go to the doctors with.

Thanks again!
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Hello ladies, Today I went to my gynecologist because of a vulvar itch I've been experiencing for two months with no relief.    used over the counter yeast infection remedies to no avail and was prescribed Diflucan by my internist.    Also was prescribed Metrondiazole (antibiotic) and no relief from that.  So went to gynecologist and he said it appears  to be vulvar dystrophy and he started me on two weeks of topical steroids.   I havn't picked it up from the pharmacy yet but am hopeful this will be the answer to my problem.  He wants to see me in 5 weeks and if I've experienced no relief he'll do a biopsy (punch) at the office at that time.    Crossing fingers we don't have to go there.
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I am so glad I have found this website and read some of the comments already on here.  I have been an RN for almost 20 years and have been driving myself almost insane over this same issue.  For about the past 7 years I have also had a bad itch on the outer left labia.  It seems to get worse around my menstrual cycle.  I went to my best friend who is an OBGYN and he assured me that I have no STD's. Thank God.  I am very fussy with my femine hygeine and I have only ever been with two partners and I know in my heart that my husband is faithful to me. I have researched everywhere, i thought and found nothing.  I feel alot better since I have heard this story from other people as well.  Good Luck to all of you and thank you for sharing your comments and possibilities with me.
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Hello.  This is my first time on this website and I too have had an uncontrollable itch for about eight months.  I went to the dr about three months ago and told him about my itching, which seems to be mostly at night.  He told me to stop scratching and said it feels good, huh?  Pretty much that it was all in my head.  Well, since my appt my skin has turned white at the top of my libia and it's thick in a couple places.  I saw a different dr yesterday and he did a biopsy and said it could be one of three things: vulvar dermatosis, hyperplasia, or lichen sclerosis.  I don't find out until Tuesday.  I'm a wreck!  I guess when your skin changes it could be a sign of cancer.  From what I understand it would only be on the surface, but I'm not sure.  I'm praying that it is something that we can just treat with a steroid cream.  I could use some prayers right now.  The biopsy was horrible.  They actually give a shot to numb you and then cut a piece of the skin off.  It hurt!  well, it was nice to see I wasn't the only one experiencing this.  Thanks!
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It has been about 4 months, and can't sleep because of constant itchiness in vulva area. When itched, the skin becomes thick. I keep my skin very clean and wear cotton under clothes. Also not sexually active so it could not come from someone else. I am 47. This is first time it has happen. I do not see any kind of formation on the skin just dry itch. I did show the area to dermatologist and he thinks that it might be excima. I applied cream prescribed by him and it doesn't work. I put lot of moisturizers and still it doesn't stop itching.  Any suggestions email me at ***@****
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I have been suffering with external vaginal itching for years. I have had more than one biopsy, nothing is working. I have been told that it is abnormal skin condition and given roughly 15 different creams, they do not work.
The itch gets so severe that I have made myself bleed from scratching. I do find that when I sweat it gets worse, I too feel dirty and that I am not.

I will try the cream posted above and let you all know how it turns out.
Wish me luck

Help74
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I've had the same problem from about a year now, and I'm not too sure what to do. I'm 17, and I've never had sex. I don't really know how to approach my mother about this, and I'm kind of embarassed since what's happened is that my skin has actually scarred and is a lighter pigment in certain areas.

It seems to really only happen around my menstrual cycle though, since mine just ended and it was itchy as hell.

I guess I'll have to talk to her soon, but I'm glad to know I'm not the only one.
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Avatar_n_tn
My itching started about a year ago.  I have been to several doctors.  I, too used Viaderm KC and it provided relief for a while but then stopped.  The last doctor I saw a few weeks ago said he thought I had vulvar eczema and I should stop using soap...yes, soap.  I felt imediate relief.  He also perscribed a steroidal cream which I have used only 2 or 3 times.  He  advised me to keep dry so I use panty liners and try to avoid situations where I might sweat.  I am experimenting with baby wipes trying to find a brand that cleans well and doesn't leave me scratching.  I hope the solution is as simple as it now sounds.  Good luck to fellow scratchers.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am also suffering terribly from not only itching, but I think blisters of some sort are forming on and off. I am now unable to have intercourse as it is just too painful.  My itching has now spread to the anal area as well as on my clitoris, which is sooo distressing.  My hygiene is very good, but this has been an ongoing problem for two years.  Before I go to  bed at night, I shower again and this seems to help the itching.  I always feel wet from a clear discharge which I believe makes the itching worse. I have to put some tp up there just to absorb the wetness all the time.  My gyno has given me different ointments but to no avail.  next he will do a biopsy.
I found this site by googling " Gynocololgical Dermatologist"  I would like to find this type of specialist.  Do they exist in the Florida area?  I scratch till I bleed, and suffer so when I then need to pee.        Signed     Too Itchy Too
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Avatar_n_tn
eczema maybe?
or another skin condition like psoriasis...

That would be my bet.
Do you have dry skin anywhere else?
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Thanks for the tips. I too, have been dealing with this for the last two years. I have been to my dermatologist and gone through all of the testing, etc and negative. She doe not know what this is and does not know how to treat me as well. I am a nurse, 45, and not sexually active. I know how all of you feel. It is very discouraging and very depressing. I will try the cream posted above. Thanks for the info!
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Does anyone else experience the itch increasing about a week and half prior to your period starting? This is driving me crazy!!
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YES! My period is 10 days away and I just started itching again tonight.

At first I thought it was because I used a hair-remover cream to remove hair around my pubic region, but the itching continued. I itch a lot before and during my period and it's painful once i scratch and have to go pee. I was scared but because I'm still a virgin, I knew there was no way it could be an STD... I'm wondering about the whole eczema thing though... I sometimes have an irrational itch on my right hand, but I've found it's when I come into contact with wheat or a kind of detergent... Hmm....

But, my goodness, I am so glad that it's not just me who is going through all this -- at least it means that it's something natural amongst women (as opposed to something abnormal), no matter how weird it really is.
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Ok , so there is a connection between period and itching. My itching just started about 5 months ago and like you other women, I knew no way was it an STD. I have tried EVERYTHING. Though it was because I shaved and let the hair grow in , BIG MISTAKE, it was 10 times worse. I am very clean , and also work out every day. The sting of sweat is enough to drive you crazy!!!.

I am glad I am not alone. I have taken breaks at work to go scratch..I am wondering if there is a connection with heat as well or maybe even sugar intake. I was off sugar for alomst a year and started eating it again at Christmas and have been bad ever since. I may check out the creme that is suggested


VIADERM KC 1% CR...

Is it expensive???

Thanks
R
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I am so glad I am not the only one who is getting the period itch. I  had a biopsy done about 6 months ago ( OUCH!)  they can't find anything there but I can sure feel it. For me it is always on the right hand side. never on the left. Does anyone else have this same experience? I am fine most of the month and then a week and half before my period the right side of my labia goes nuts with itching and I go insane. If PMS wasn't bad enough without adding in the itch factor.  I was beginning to think because I am 38 that perhaps I was peri menopausal but this seemed like something for menopause-not for a 38 yr old. UGH. This is been almost a year and a half I am dealing with this. Finally saw the correlation between when the itch reared its ugly head month to month.  I am wishing all of you an itch free evening.
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Yes......I am 7 days out before my next period and the itching started about 10 days before. It is the right side as well, never the left. I even grew my hair back thinking this would help and it did until it got closer to my period. So I too am breaking this down to some sort of hormone thing. I have not tried the cream yet either, plan on calling my gyn. I am 45 almost 46, I have been dealing with this for almost 2 years. I am diabectic and I also am questioning sugar intake? The endocrine system is so unique...laundry soap, I started using ALL CLEAR thinking of allergies but this hasnt really helped either. Hang in there, maybe if we use all of our heads we will figure it out. Take Care.-
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I just stumbled on this site.  I thought I was the only one with this problem.  I've been having this itching for about 4 months now. Just on one side of the labia.  But the itching is sometimes so unbearable.  I've tried the anti-itch cream, creams for athlete's food (I was desperate because I don't know what it is).  I now use Vick's Vaporub and that seems to help the symptoms but doesn't cure it.  I'm going through menopause, haven't had a period in a year.  My doctor doesn't know what it is.

The weird thing is it's only on one side!  Is it the same with everybody?
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Five years, here, and going strong. I just found the answer to it yesterday- eczema. I'd seen useless doctor after useless doctor. I abhor doctors and gynos- where the heck has bedside manner GONE nowadays. Finally a NP recognized the eczema and put me on Triamcinolone Acetonide Cream 4X a day on the infected area, and he also gave me an additional morning regimen for the next 2 weeks. It's been 24 hours, and the redness is GONE, the swelling is nearly nonexistent, and the itch is minimal. Plus, I am completely moisturized. No dryness problems. I'm right before my period, and I was able to sleep through the night.

The regimen he gave me is to battle eczema everywhere else- and while it's not completely comfortable, I don't mind it for 2 weeks. (This guy is awesome- he was a Military Emergency Medic, etc.) Right after my shower I "squeegee" myself off with my hands, so I'm still wet, but not soaking. then I apply mineral oil from my neck to my shins (be careful not to spill in the tub- dangerous!) Then I mix the cream 50/50 with Eucerin (OTC cream) and apply from the neck to the shins. This combination saves you from paying for any "big store" of doing a combination cream- or even having to find one to do it.

I may have to go give my NP a BIG hug when I see him for my check-up Thursday. This is how great he is- he made sure to schedule me 3 days later to make sure that there is improvement instead of waiting the 2 weeks of possibly wasted time.
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It is so comforting to know so many other people understand what i'm going through! I am 26, I have suffered on and off with this for 5 years. It is always so much worse at night, always on the right side and i'm always less able to control the scratching when i've been out drinking (does anyone get that?!). i get the dry, flakey skin and the rawness from scratching. i'm sure it's worse when i'm stressed and definately when it's hot at night. I've not been to my doctor due to embarrasment which i know is ridiculous but reading the stories has made me realise i've just been stupid in that respect. i suffer from dermititis on my forehead which was a result of stress after ending a long relationship, so i already know my skin reacts to stress.
i've tried all sorts of over the counter creams to no avail. i bought a flannel, and wrapped it in ice but it was too dry. to relieve it now i wet the flannel (but not so it's dripping) and have it next to my bed at night so when i wake up in agony trying not to itch, i lay the flannel on the area to soothe it till i fall back asleep....
losing sleep over this problem is so crazy....it affects the rest of your life and it's something i've never spoken to anyone about for 5 years. i'm booking an appointment with the doctor for next week...glad i found this site. :)
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I am 58 and have had this problem for five years.  After several years, I went to my GYN who did a biopsy and diagnosed Lichen Sclerosis.  She gave me a prescrition cream which works pretty well but you have to use it sparingly as it can cause thining of the labia.  It is, at best, just something to help the itching and pain but the problem always comes back.

I was reading the newspaper several weeks ago and saw a letter to Dr. Gott from a woman that suffers with LS and she tried Vicks VapoRub and her labia is now back to normal skin.  I have been trying it for about a week and it works amazingly well.  There is a slight burn when you first apply it (especially if you have just had a bad itching and scrathing episode or if you have on tight clothes) but I am expperiencing less and less itching and I too have noticed that my labia skin in no longer hard and as white as it was.  If anyone decides to try it do it at night when you can go with out clothes first.

I will post after several more weeks to see if it really is helping to GET RID OF THIS PROBLEM.

happy to find hope
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wowwww .... I thought I was the only one! it's one big itching party here! it's really hindered my [oral] sex life.... from my perspective at least  - I get very guilty like I'm going to spread something, but it hasn't stopped my boyfriends and nobody's gotten anything from me... I've had it for a VERY long time as well, but didn't have insurance to cover visits or treatment... I finally do now, and my gynecologist turned me away saying it wasn't an ob/gyn problem, but a dermatologist's & not to worry...  still too embarrassed to go, but I will be very soon. When I was little I frequented the YMCA's pool alot with my neighborhood friends and picked up eczema on my calf one summer -- scratching my labia sort of reminds me of that intense sensation then-- after that summer all it took to clear it up was a cortisone shot and cream for a week and I've NEVER seen it again... hope the solution for my labia is similar -- I wouldn't mind a needle down there if it really cured me.... lol   glad to read all this good info... it's empowering  :)  thanx you guys!   Itchy_Itchy  please let us know if you were successful! [btw, that pms itching is most likely due to the pH balance - high acid do you in every time...] amazing what we go thru.......
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Hi All.  I am another one to add to the list.  45, perio-menopausal.  The itching started about 1.5 years ago (it will be 2 years in 3 months) during a stressful time in my life.  It is on one side.  Worse when I sweat.  Stress seems to make it worse also.  I think I have tried just about everything, so I will try the Vicks Vapor Rub.  I need to go to the gyno.  2 years ago when the gyno looked at me it was just starting and I thought it was an allergic reaction to dryer sheets (I had just moved to a new house where the washer/dryer came with the house).  The next year at my ob-gyn appt. I was having a good week and I thought it was going away.  For me the worst part is the embarrassment and my not wanting to have sex.  To help equalize the pH balance in your body when you are pre-menstrual, take a glass of water with a dissolved Alka-Seltzer in it.
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I have had this same problem for about two years.  My gynocologist gave it a fancy name which translates to mean "being itchy down there for some unknown reason."  Through trial and error I have come up with a program which seems to help when the itching acts up.  First, I make sure I rinse the area thoroughly when I shower.  I blow dry the area after each shower on a cool, low setting,  then I use iodine on any extremely sore spots.  I dip a Q-tip in the bottle and apply it to the sores.  This can sting if they are very raw.  Then I apply some type of oil all over the whole area.  I use jojoba oil.  I think the oil keeps the area from getting wet.  Sweating and dampness seem to make the itching worse.  I also put on clean underwear before I go to bed at night.  This isn't a cure, but it helps keep the itching under control.
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We should talk to each other more.  Are we all under undue stress - so this is a reaction to stress?  Is this an allergic reaction?  maybe to chocolate, wine, dryer sheets, something else?  Do we all wear pantyhose?  Cotton undies?  There must be a common thread among us.  How did it start - were we all under undue stress when it started?  Is it environmental - mold in the house?  Comments?
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no one will believe me because it is a common thing to be in disbelief that any of you "clean" people could possibly have any sort of std but most likely you are not as educated as you would like to think when it comes to this subject. I write this in the hope that if it only causes closure for at least one person on here then I have helped at least one person. Many people do not realize you dont have to be a dirty ***** to get an std but some still cant separate the stigma with the reality. That said, I DO NOT sleep around, and never have.........had only had 2 boyfriends in my life and 2 years ago got a very weird itchy rash down below.........doctors had no clue what it was.........possible diagnosis were extreme dry skin, excema, psoroasis and because of my sexual history of only 2 monogamous partners they though "no way it could be an std"    well thank god one of my nurse practitioners said a rash should not last almost 2 years, itching on and off...........and gave me a BLOOD test for herpes just in the off chance it could be that. And guess what, IT WAS!   never a blister, never a lesion, never anything typically associated or thought to be what people invision in their minds.......no defined healing stage, nothing people would ever think of. So i write this because i read hundreds of posts on here all claiming "there is absolutely no possibilities of an std because of reason X, Y, or Z    and unfortunately it is completely possible.........look at me, Im 24, slept with 2 people and turns out this is what it is. Since finding out this news ive joined a support group and it turns out millions of people are affected by herpes the same way as me, or as the hundreds on here writing about "no relief"  or itching or dry skin below, etc. and i wanted to write to let people know it is completely possible, even when you think it is not. And so my point is that if you are "100% sure it is not an std" then go get tested specifically for herpes via blood because most people have in fact never been tested for it because when you go to the doctor and say "test me for ALL stds"   they test for EVERYTHING BUT herpes and most people do not realize that until they find out about that and check their records only to find out they were in fact NEVER tested for it. And if nothing else, if negative for herpes, then you have even more piece of mind and have eliminated one of the most commonly overlooked possibilities that people miss for lack of education about it. If you are so sure it is NOT an std then what is the harm in testing? I guarantee at least one person on here does in fact have an unknown case of herpes and because people dont understand how herpes can really work and present, they will never have a clue.   I hope someone takes me up on this and it helps them in their quest for answers, if nothing else, research herpes and you will soon become aware of something that would have never crossed my mind in a million years, as im sure it doesnt you all for the same naive reasoning and lack of education about it.  
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My heart goes out to you.  I'm so sorry that you have to deal with this.  Thank you for writing in and sharing your story with us.  Are you in constant discomfort still or have your doctors been able to treat the rash/itchiness so that you have some level of comfort?
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So I have finally found something that gives me a bit of relief. As my itching always starts a week and a half prior to my period and it is always only on the right side I have become convinced it is clearly hormonal. The doctors can't find anything so even though I am only 38 I figured perhaps it is simply dryness. I could be totally wrong but either way I am just so excited to have found that helps me not feel like I am going to have to rip my skin off.  I purchased something from Whole Foods called Emerita-Personal Moisturizer and it is helping ALOT. It has Aloe, vitamin E, calendula and ginseng in it and if I put it on as soon as the itching starts I get a lot of relief.  I had to tell you guys because this is the first time in a few years I have found anything that helps at all.
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God, am I ever glad to have stumbled here, after FINALLY apparently typing in the magic combination of words into Google's search engine... I've been having this problem for about a year now, and it's AWFUL, and I hadn't been able to find anything about it online except for suggestions that it might be an STD (it's not, I get tested regularly for everything)... mine is also only on the right side (odd that everyone who has mentioned it has said right side... anyone have it on the left?) and is so itchy that I end up scratching in my sleep, and then waking up from the pain.  I've used anti-itch ointments, and antibiotics, which seem to give some temporary relief, but it seems pretty crappy that no one, and no doctor that anyone here has seen, has managed to find a permanent solution.  I'm so glad I found other people who've had this issue too, though!
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Wow, I almost started crying when I read someone say that it felt like "bugs crawling on your skin and trying to get out". That hit the nail on the head for me. I have no idea what is wrong with me either. My symptoms started out as what I thought was a really bad yeast infection, with the cheesey discharge and all, and REALLY REALLY itchy, everywhere, from my anus to my clitoris. The itching was like nothing else that I can describe, nothing. I have been a yeast infection sufferer for years, but nothing like this. The first time was in February, and the doctor came me an a strong anti fungul oral med. It worked. This past August, the same symptoms occurred. Naturally I thought that it was a resistant yeast infection again. So I ended up taking two rounds of diflucan and two seperate three day doses of Canestan. My symptoms were somewhat releived but not completely, so I went to the doctors again, had all std tests done (even though engaged and have been in a monogomous relationship for three years). Nothing. So girls, here is some history of my med issues.

I have dermographia (translation is latin for "writing of the skin") - unknown allergies. It causes uncontrollable massive hives everywhere on my body at any given time. I experienced my first symptoms 8 years ago, I am 30 now. My brother also shares this disease and he to developped it later in life. So I already use Tide Free, unscented pantyliners, cotton panties only, never wear panty hose, dove or ivory soap for sensitive skin. I know the drill about possible allergy triggers. I take 10 mg of hydroxyzine every second day. Generic name is Atarax

I also have been aware of my hpv (human pappilloma virus) diagnosis for four years. Have had four biopsies on my cervix and my last three paps came back normal so I only need to go for my yearly pap now until abnormalities show. I do not think this is related to Hpv though, as I had my last colposcopy two months ago and everything came back negative- yay!

I am forever trying to quit smoking, especially because of hpv. I can go months without a cigarette, but I do chew nicorette (down to about four pieces a day).

So, I am currently on Viaderm KC cream too, but am worried about long term effects of the thinning of the skin. I haven't had sexual relations with my fiancee in a month until tonight. It burned. Even the KY burned when he touched me, especially around my clitoris. I am so upset. I am worried that this will inevetiably cause problems between us down the road.I am so frustrated!!!!

So here is what I am planning on doing: I am going to see the doc, again. For a physical and get tested for thyroid, diabetes, celiac disease and I guess a herpes blood test (in reference to an above comment) I am going to ask to be referred to a gyno and dermatologist while I am there. Next, I am going to cleanse myself and hopefully purge anything in my body that is causing this. I am going to start with a bowel cleanser and then a liver cleanser. I am going to put myself on a strict diet and of course get off the nicorette and stop the occassional cheating. Wish me luck. I hope others take action as well. It very well could be an allergy to something in the environment. Picture your body as a glass of water that can only hold so much toxins, eventually the water will start spilling out, thus creating symptoms. Oh, I am also going to continue taking my women's daily vitamin, yogurt and acidophillus pills to regulate my good flora. Good luck eveyone.
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Hi, I was taking a prescription medication for my uti. After taking it twice, i relized i was broken out down there with a really bad rash from it. I stopped taking it immediatley, but the problem is that i scratched and now my labia is bleeding on both sides and it hurts sooo bad when i pee. i dont know how i can make it heal, how long it would take, make the pain go away, or if that area can even heal
=[ help me
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Hi All!  I have made some changes and feel SOOOOOOOO much better.  I stopped all my vitamins etc. to "cleanse" my system (C, E, multi, Tums for calcium, and black kohosh for hot flashes) AND no more red wine.  Also - no creams/lotions/etc. on my labia.  Nothing.  I was having about a juice glass of red wine each night before bed (helps me fall asleep).  I've been drinking red wine for about as long as I've had this itchy problem.  Never made a connection between the two, but who knows.  There are preservatives in wine - maybe that's what I'm allergic/sensitive to.  I have allergies (mold, ragweed, cats, etc.) and take 1 Allegra/day when needed - still taking that.  It could also be the black kohosh I suppose or God only knows what else.  BUT - I know that since I stopped drinking the red wine and stopped the vitamins, I'VE BEEN ABLE TO SLEEP THE WHOLE NIGHT THROUGH!!!!!  That seems to be a miracle to me.  I used to wake myself up from scratching.  I am still going to the dr. tomorrow, so I will post again when I have more information.  Keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers.
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Hey everyone yea i have just recently been having this problem over the last month...and im only 17 so i want to deal with it now rather then later ... i am going to see my doctor next week but it seems so far away... i feel the same way im super itchy and it my skin become raw and sore..this causes a lot of difficulties with my sports and ecspecially with my boyfriend ... at first the bumps were only near my labia ..but now they have started going around my butt aswell :S ... its really embarassing and i cant talk to my mom about it so im just hopeing my doctor will know what to do ... i have used mosturizers and polysporn but nothing seems to help ... im loseing a lot of sleep over this ..so what can you guys recommend to me ????
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I just turned 18 and if i have to live with this for the rest of my life i wont be living
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Don't give up!!!!!!!!!!!!!  There are things you can do to ease the discomfort.  First:  GO TO YOUR DOCTOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  If you are not satisfied with that doctor, SWITCH and switch again until you find a doctor who can and will help you.  Other than that - try all the things those of us on here have written about...cotton undies (wash separately and rinse twice), no pantyhose (or cut a hole in the crotch), no perfumes or deodorants down there - careful on the soaps....etc.  THINK THINK THINK to when this started.  What was going on in your life, what changed?  It could be something in your diet that is triggering an allergic reaction.  Stress doesn't help.  Sweating doesn't help.  Take it from a 45 year old - you're just a baby and life IS worth living.  Hang in there.  Go to a doctor, keep talking on this post - we try to help each other.  I went to the doc today - will have results from swabs in about a week.  There ARE treatments that can make us comfortable again!!!
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2 diff docs... acidphilus pills yougurt oneday pill cortazon antibiotics antifungal vitamen c changing diet monistat..... ANYTHING ELES
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2 diff docs... acidphilus pills yougurt oneday pill cortazon antibiotics antifungal vitamen c changing diet monistat..... ANYTHING ELES
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Ladies, GET A BIOPSY.  If your itching is localized to one or a few distinct spots, don't screw around.  Demand a biopsy of the itchy spot.  If your doctor says they can't or won't do a biopsy, go to another doctor.  Keep searching for a doctor who is sympathetic and takes your concerns seriously.  Don't stop until you've received a biopsy.  

I have been living with horrendous itch on my inner labia for seven years now (I am 27).  It is controllable with hydrocortisone cream and is quite easy for me to live with when I apply the cream, but it's like torture when I don't.  My only symptom is itching.  I do not have skin thinning, whiteness, dryness, flakiness usually associated with lichen sclerosus nor do I have any visible lumps, bumps, sores, etc.  But the itch is undeniable and very persistent.

beautifulsadness is right - you could have herpes or HPV without knowing it.  You could have gotten it from a single, monogamous partner.  You could have either or both diseases and have no symptoms at all other than itching.  Or no symptoms whatsoever.  Do not rule out that your condition could be caused by an STD on your own - have the necessary tests done by your doctor.  If it is caused by an STD, the cure could be simple and quick.  There is no reason to feel stigmatized over having an STD in today's society.  HPV is extremely common - probably multiple people who you know have it.  Herpes is also extremely common.  Having an STD is about as shocking and unusual as having the flu.  It's so common it's almost unbelievable.  Don't be afraid of STD screening - have it checked out.

If those screens are negative, BIOPSY.  Demand it.  I've seen so many doctors about my condition in the last seven years.  Just this week I went to another one and told him I wouldn't take no for an answer - I wanted a biopsy.  As I have no visible symptoms, he said he couldn't do one unless he could identify a site to biopsy.  He put vinegar on my vulva and was able to find a small visible lesion that way.  Vinegar causes otherwise invisibly thickened skin to turn white so that it can be identified.  It takes a few minutes to work and it stings like the dickens, but it's worth it to identify the exact source of the itching.  

Now I am having my biopsy done tomorrow.  I am actually excited to have it done and hopefully to have a definitive diagnosis so I know how to proceed.

Getting a real diagnosis is so important because persistent, long-term itching is a major indicator of vulvar cancer.  This type of cancer is EXTREMELY rare and is very slow-growing and easy to treat - so don't let this drag on until it's too late.  If your itching doesn't respond to any kind of treatment, DEMAND THAT BIOPSY.  

If you have never had a doctor try the vinegar treatment on you, ASK FOR IT.  Doctors are human and they can't know everything.  We, as patients, have a responsibility to be as informed as possible about ailments and to work with our doctors as much as we are able to find answers.  Suggest the vinegar wash to see if any whitened areas show up that can be biopsied.  I had never had a doctor even think to try the vinegar trick on me before this week, but it got results.  

Take this seriously.  Statistically, vulvar cancer is extremely rare and anyway it's super slow-moving.  But why take the risk of having it turn into a serious problem?  Take your treatment into your own hands and get serious about this.  Vinegar and biopsy, ladies!

nfarrell9 - I'm sorry you're suffering from this obnoxious ailment - I know exactly what you're going through!  Hang in there.  Go to your doctor and ask for the vinegar wash to see if any areas of thickened/whitened skin show up so that you can get a biopsy done.  As for seeking relief right now, use hydrocortisone cream (over the counter).  Apply it to the itchy area.  The itching should go away immediately.  But just because you can control the itch, don't give up on seeking a diagnosis.
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Like so many others who have posted, I am so glad I found this site and find I am not alone - also, I find it quite hard to talk about this to my friends so it's great to be able to sit here and type out my story, knowing you will all understand.

I have suffered from vulval itching for several years.  Sometimes it's bearable, sometimes it's not, it seems to ebb and flow in cycles.  Just now it feels as though it is the worst it has ever been.  Mine is caused by psoriasis, which I have on other parts of my body too.  I can't count the number of times I've been to see the Doctor, and am always fobbed off with various types of cream which never make any difference.

It's taken over my life 24 hours a day just now.  During the day I am just about managing it - I use E45 moisturiser a lot, and also Eurax ant-itching cream.  I have used so much of this though, I think I may be getting allergic to it now as it makes me shake when I put it on now.  I have also recently bought a pair of gel pads - the kind for women who have just given birth and have stitches/tear/swollen.  These go in the freezer and then can go in your panties discreetly as they are thin.  Only thing is, because they are thin and because that area of the body is hot, the cool sensation doesn't last very long, I am constantly swapping them over and may even buy another couple of packs.

During the night is another matter.  I rarely sleep more than 1 or 2 hours without waking, and I always wake when I am already scratching so it's too late to stop myself - therefore, the broken skin doesn't get a chance to heal.  Like jude5866 who posted above, I have in the past resorted to using a baby's hairbrush (with fine but spikey bristles) for scratching - while it is SUCH a relief to have a good scratch (sorry if too much info!) I had to get rid of this method eventually as in the long run it was making my skin SO much worse, I spent most of the day crying.

To complicate my situation, I am 11 weeks pregnant with my 4th child, so this will limit me to what kind of treatments I can use.  I saw my midwife yesterday and she is referring me to a skin specialist at the hospital - I SO wish my doc had done that years ago!!  SO hopefully they will be able to suggest something that will help.  In the meantime,  I will persevere with the E45 and cool packs.  I am back to see my regular doc again next week and am hoping she may be able to give me something to sooth the hot, burning sensation, or something moisturising to put in the bath, or even something to help me sleep!  Not sure if that will be possible when I'm pregnant though :(  That's another thing that annoys me, I can't even take the time to enjoy this pregnancy so far, in fact it has been away at the back of my mind because the itching is so all-consuming.

Thanks for reading, I hope you all get your own itching sorted out soon.  Sorry if I come across like a grump, I'm just so relieved to talk about this!
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I want to scream, scratch and laugh. I am 46 and cannot remember how long I have had the same symptoms as the rest of you. I am a Black woman so I also suffer from ingrown hairs (anywhere hair grows). Start scratching and scrape a hair bump in the pubic area at the same time, you will jump to the ceiling in pain. I have used every over the counter anti-itch, cortisone cream, anti-bacteria cream known to man. I have never thought to research what was going on. Just deal with it was my philosophy until last night my 12 year old daughter mentioned that she had started itching in her pubic area. I had to laugh because I told her, I thought it was just me. I got up this morning and started searching and found this forum (yay for me and her). I think I will research the Viaderm cream and give the vicks vapor rub a try (can't hurt, just sting a bit I guess). She has had eczma (eczema) since she was 6 years old and I have extremely dry skin. I think we will also try not using soap in that area and a moisturizer. I have scratched myself raw for years and can't imagine my daugther going through the same thing. I will let you all know if we find some relief. I really appreciate all the open, honest comments. Had 1 woman not been honest about what she was going through, we would all still be suffering alone. Thanks.      
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I hope your biopsy went well. I had one this year and ohhhhh it hurt. But Yes, I was glad to have the reaussurance that it was nothing. Nothing but a horrible itch but apparently not life threatening.

Just a bit of advice for anyone who does get the biopsy done. Have a bottle of water right next to the toilet to rinse with after you go pee. The doctor did not tell me this and I had to call back twice to ask for help on how to get rid of the horrible stinging. Rinsing worked.  It took about a week before the pain went completely away.

But I do agree that it is good to know that the one sided itches are not cancerous. That is one of the most common symptoms with cancer of the vulva.  Once you have gone throught all of the exams and tests you can at least rest easy that you may still feel like you are going to lose your mind from itching but you are free of disease.

Good luck everybody. Still just so grateful for my Emerita. It gives me so much relief.
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wow-  can't believe I have stumbled on this site and discovered I am not alone after over 10 years of itching!
At first it was only on the right side bt a few years ago it spread to the other side as well.  In my case it is eczema - although nothing has ever worked to stop it.  I use aqueous cream to wash with instead of shower gel, I only wear cotton underwear, I keep my fingernails as short as possible so that I do't scratch myself to death at night (I scratch in my sleep... nightmare!)
The latest is I finally got referred for allergy patch testing to see if I am allergic to anything that could be causing my eczema.  I get it on other parts of my body too but nothing as bad as "down there".
I'm just so glad that I'm not alone in all this.  I thought for so many years that I was the only one. Reading this page has meant so much to me!
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Okay ladies, I've suffered with this for about 12 years, and have been to different doctors (no gyn's) over the years. I got the usual, "Contact Dermatitis, stop scratching, cortisone cream, etc etc" which is easy to say. But I try not to scratch, and I end up waking myself up at night, scratching. It is very uncomfortable and worrisome - always the thought that "cancer" is a possibility. Tonight I came across a site that was very helpful - had pictures so I could compare what my vulva looks like (in particularly bad attack of the itch lately) with these diagnosed cases. You can click - it's a powerpoint presentation. www.asccp.org/pdfs/itchy_vulva.ppt . I do believe that what I have fits the profile of "Lichen Simplex Chronicus" which is the same thing as "Squamous Cell Hyperplasia".  The other thing I tried tonight, and it has brough instant comfort and relief, is a cream I found in a health-food store and use for my 7 year old's exzema (eczema). It is called, ""Body Butter; Unscented for Eczema" and it is made by a little company called "Rocky Mountain Soap Company" in Alberta, Canada (where I live).  It comes in a little container that looks exactly like an underarm deodorant container.  The ingredients are all natural: Vegetable oil, beeswax, and cocoa butter. I'll keep applying it and let you know if it maintains its effectiveness.  It has worked miracles on my daughter's eczema.
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Biopsy results are back!!  Guess what - in my case I have an option to hopefully permanently rid myself of the itch - not just treat it with hydrocortisone.

First, the biopsy was quite bearable.  I lucked out and the shot/biopsy were done on an area of my labia where there just aren't a lot of nerve endings.  I've had much more painful experiences while giving blood.  :)  And there was no problem with pain during urination afterwards as it healed very quickly.

But guess what - my seven-year itch has been caused by HPV!  Although I have never had a single wart in my life so I never suspected it, the lab results were positive for HPV and no other abnormalities were found.  This means that I can have cryotherapy done to "freeze" away the affected tissue and hopefully the intolerable itch will not return.

HPV is very common - I read a statistic that says that by the age of 50, over 80% of all sexually active women will have contracted it at some point.  There are over 70 strains of genital HPV and some strains clear by themselves while others hang around.  I guess I have a "hang around" strain!  Some can increase the risk of cervical and vulvar cancer, so it is very important to know whether you have HPV so that you can closely monitor cellular changes in your cervix and vulva with your doctor.

By the way, I've had two sexual partners in my entire life - my husband and a previous boyfriend with whom I didn't have any genital-to-genital contact.  So having a sexually transmitted disease does not make you dirty, a ****, an inferior person, etc.  In fact, MOST people you know have HPV!  

I encourage all of you ladies to go get a biopsy done.  It could be that you have a non-wart-producing strain of HPV like me and that with a simple clinical procedure you can be free of this HORRIBLE TORMENTING ITCH!  Plus if you do have a "high risk" strain of HPV you need to know about it so you can be vigilant for signs of precancerous changes.  Cancers of the reproductive organs are usually slow-moving and easy to treat in women, but you need to catch them early in order to successfully treat them.

I'm really looking forward to my appointment to get the itchy areas treated.  It's on Oct 9th - I'll let you know how it goes and whether I am cured of the seven-year itch!  :)
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Have any of you ever used monistat?  I have itching from time to time and decided that yeast infections are a pretty common thing among women.  I don't get any discharge.  I just itch like crazy.  I try to make sure I stay really clean down there when it happens.  It useually burns like crazy to pee right after a shower but only after I've cleaned down there.  I've used monistat before when I've had this problem and it goes away after about a week.  But when I use it the itching is absolutely unbearable!!!  It says in the directions that a mild increase in vaginal burning, itching, irritation, or headache may occur when the product is used but this feels no where near mild.  I just used about an hour ago and I've tried so hard not to itch myself.  I only got through about 30 mins before I couldn't stand it any longer and had to itch.  I try to use it before I go to bed so the medication wont leak out but I can't be still and now I've itched soo much that its leaked out.  That happened maybe 15 mins ago and the itching is just starting to relive a little.  Can anyone tell me if this is a normal occurrence when using this product?  I've read in forums that instead you can make a tampon out of garlic wrapped in gauls that gives instant relief but I'm scared to try sticking any food products inside me.  Please let me know if anyone knows of a better way to treat this problem or if it's normal to have such discomfort after using this product.  I know that you can get a pill for it from the dr but I really don't want to have to go to the dr bc I don't have insurance.  Please help me!!
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Wow, I am both sorry yet happy to see/read that I am not the only one with this....itch that can all most drive a person out of their mind.  I have seen my Gina. and was perscribed Betaderm Cream and I find it does help me enough so that I can sleep.  I am told that STRESS is the biggest trigger.  My husband is both bipolar and suffers from Chronic Hepatitis C.  I began suffering with this itch shortly after he began treatment for his Hep.  They (my family M.D. and Gina) could not tell me if it will ever go away.  Considering the reasons for my stress, I see it as long term.  But I do get alot of relief with the perscribed cream. I no longer feel like I am going to loose me mind and I hope I have been some help.  
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I can't believe I found this website. I'm not happy that so many of us have to suffer from this, but I am happy that some of us have found this forum to share with each other and perhaps help one another too. I'm 26 and I have been suffering from the same problems as all of you for almost a year now, and I have racked my brain trying to figure out what triggered it. I have seen a few different doctors, and have been told that everything looks normal, and they've sent me home with a topical cortisone cream, which hasn't helped much. A lot of things that I've read on this page have made me think of a lot of possibilities, though, so I'll be paying the doc another visit, and be better equipped to ask the right questions. I also may or may not have lupus (yet another frustrating ordeal of trial-and-error-diagnoses for the past 8 years) and I read here that people with over-active immune systems can suffer from this problem, so maybe that's what it is? I just don't want to live with this for any longer, I have too many other health problems that make me feel less than whole.

I've only had one sexual partner (my husband), and he was tested for every real and imaginary STD out there when he joined the army, before we got married. My husband has been away for a year (in the army, in Iraq), so at least sex has not been a problem (though it was a huge problem when he was home on his mid-tour leave!)... but I do not want it to be a problem when he comes back, so I'm hoping to have found a way to alleviate the symptoms before he comes home (in another 4 months, yay!). Wish me luck, and I wish you all the same. I'll check in again soon to see if you all have any news to share, and hopefully I'll have good news to share, too.

(p.s. - to the lady above who wanted to laugh, cry and scratch at the same time, I know what you mean!!! That's how I felt when I stumbled across this page!)
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Caylon - if you're having more problems when using the monistat, stop using it!!  Chances are that your itch is not caused by what monistat is designed to treat.  Don't stick anything up there without consulting an actual DOCTOR first - home-remedy internet forums are not a good source of useful, safe cures.  

My guess is that if a yeast infection medication isn't giving you any relief then you're not suffering from a yeast infection.  Seek another diagnosis from your doctor.  It may be that it's curable.  In the meantime, hydrocortisone cream is safe to use and will probably relieve the itch for you.
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I am glad that I found this website as well.  It is a big relief to know that there are others out there and that we can help each other during this tough time.  

Here is my story.  I am 42 and have been in excellent health all my life until I got an insect bite.  I applied Benadryl topical cream and broke out all over my arm.  At first I thought it was the insect bite but it was actually the cream.  I went to the doctor and he saw my inflamed arms and put me on a steroid cream - Halbatasol.  This helped at first but then it came right back.  During this time I notice that if I touched cardboard, wicker baskets with resins or tapes or even new clothing I would break out with the hives.   When the first steroid cream didn't work I went back and he put me on Tricolomine (sp?)  I can't remember how to spell it!  Anyway, my skin had lichened to this point and the cream took it away in about 2 weeks.  Each day I could see an improvement so I knew I was on the right road.  I also found through patch testing that I am allergic to certain kinds of formaldehye (especially the one in Benadryl cream and Halobatesol) and this is why because my skin was in shock I would break out by just touching things.  I also started itching in my vulva area (only external) and thought it might be from the feminine pads and the adhesive.  Just to let you know, feminine pads do have formaldehyde and resins.   They also have a perservative called colophony which acts alot like formaldehyde.  So, I stopped using those kinds of products but my vulva itched remained.  My dermatologist put me on Elidel and Pramasome but that did nothing for me.  I wore only cotton underwear, lose clothes, bathed in either Cetaphil or Aveeno Bath Relief.  Just a note - I have always had dry scalp but never knew that I was allergic to formaldehyde until my skin went into shock.....when I found a hair conditioner that did not have formaldehyde, I have never had a problem with dry scalp since.  

Anyway, I was due for my yearly gyn exam and expressed my frustration over the last 18 months.  My doctor was very proactive and took a skin scrape and biopsy so we could know what she was dealing with.  Turns out I have Lichen Simplex Chronicus and a topical yeast infection that she thinks was caused by the steroid creams that I took.  However, we are waiting for those results to be more conclusive.  Today I am starting a regimine of Clobetasol two times a week.  After that we will wean me to a less potent steroid.  

I know that I could treat the itch but I want to cure it.  My main motivation is that my 85 year old aunt has endured with this for 40 years now.  Research has shown that this can be genetic.  My aunt has not always followed the doctor's advise which unfortunately has led her to self medicate which can be dangerous!   Be proactive and don't wait another day to go to the OB/GYN!  And if some doctor says it's all in your head........find one who will help you because you are not crazy!  And as one writer says, get a BIOPSY!  Vulva cancer is very rare, but it starts with a persistent itch that will not go away.  Better to treat it now then later.  

iitch
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hey everyone, it seems we arent alone in all of this. i am 17 years old and just started taking contraceptive pill, mainly for monthly pain control seeing i am not sexually active.
i just recently started itching on my labia, and so i scratched and now the skin has become completely raw.
it is highly uncomfortable and i could really use some advice to heal the skin??
at the moment i am using a cream called celestone which stops the itching, but my skin is now sore because it is so raw.
if i could just heal the skin then i could deal with it. does anyone have any home remedies or anything i could buy? it would be so incredibly appreciated as much of you would agree. thankyou for any help you can give me

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Thanks mlm,  I called the hot line number on the back and they said that a mild increase of symptoms are normal.  I think because it was so saver i must be allergic ot something in it.  It did go away after a few day so it worked fine, just a pain to use.  I think my best bet is to just go to the dr and take the oral when I have this problem.  Thanks for your help!
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I too have experienced this dreaded itching.  When I was pregnant with my first son (1990), the obgyn I had took a biopsy and came back with HYPERPLASIA as my diagnosis.  I have used Cordran cream (prescribed for my younger son's eczema) and it works nicely.  My question is this:  Since that time, I have experienced itching and 1 doctor has told me she cannot find any reaosn for it but refuses to entertain the Hyperplasia theory.  The 2nd doctor told me I had Trich!!!!!!  I have been with the same man since 1992 and I find it hard to believe this diagnosis since it has never come up before and we have been married since 2004.  We both took medication for Trich, but I still have the itching.  He never itches, just me.  I explained to the last doctor that I have absolutely no internal itching, just on the labia and no urination issues, I can't see it being Trich, I am 100% positive he has not been with anyone else.  I read that Trich can stay in th ebody for a long time, but from 1992-NOW!  I have had too many yeast infections to even count over the last 28 years since starting my period, but I have all the symptoms you ladies do as well.  Any suggestions??    
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Hello ladies - first, I'm sorry that we all have to put up with this!  I'm just glad we have the internet for support groups - imagine having this problem in the Victorian era.  I've been having the same itching as you all, and you've inspired me to get a biopsy (which I've been considering for almost a year, but kept hoping I could find my own solution to no avail).
Here are my basics:
1. I'm 20 years old, and have had this problem since I was about 11 which was before any sexual contact or periods.
2. I've been on assorted pills throughout the past 5 years and have found no correlation with the itching and either the pills, or my period.  On that note the type of underwear that I wear doesn't affect this, and if I wear a pantyliner it makes me actually feel sweaty and MORE itchy.
3. It affects the right outer labia, though spreads slightly to the valley between the inner and outer labia, and gets to the point where it gets white flakes separated by angry red creases, which I then scratch off (the flakes come off about the size of oatmeal, actually).  This area is thicker than the other, which I've only noticed in the past 4 or 5 years, to my displeasure.  I've recently noticed a tiny bump below the region, which I have been assured is NOT a wart (whew!), but I have no idea whether it's related to the itching.
I asked my pediatrician about two years ago, but she said it was just dry skin.  I have tiny pits in my fingernails which a dermatologist told me is psoriasis (but that doctor may be a quack because she also cut a mole off of my arm using UNSTERILE equipment without ANY warning of what was to come).  Perhaps it's related?  In any case, hopefully the biopsy will lead to some kind of treatment.  But if any of you are ever in a pinch, here are a few things that have worked for me - Desitin, which I discovered while babysitting a kid with diaper rash, aloe (emergency at the beach), good old Vaseline, and Neosporin (also babysitting).  They're only temporary, but they'll give you a good half hour of peace.  Also, whenever I get Brazilian waxes the area feels significantly better for about two weeks, until the hair stairs to regrow, and then it starts all over again.
Good luck everybody!
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hey just to report back, my itching has minimised alot now and my skin is now back to normal aswell. i went tot he doctor for an entirely different reason and she told me that the cream "celestone" had steroids in it and can cause thinness of skin, so be warned of any creams with steroids in it no matter how well it works.
i swapped from that to this pain relief skin ointment, its an all natural supplement skin treatment and worked like a charm. it cools down the skin and takes away any pain and itching. so my advice: head to your local pharmacy and try something herbal because it really works!!! i hope i helped someone out there because god i know your pain.
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Hi All!  thought I'd provide an update on my saga.  I went to the Dr. and though I did not have a biopsy, the Dr. did take swabs and sent those to the lab.  We thought we would do the less invasive things first.  Everything came back normal.  This tested for some STDs, fungus, and I don't know what else.  Dr. thinks it is a dermatitus situation - itch/scratch/itch cycle.  Anyway....I have found that stress greatly effects this.  As I learn to manage the stress in my life, the itching lessens.  As I previously wrote, I also made some changes to my diet and lifestyle.  No red wine (maybe allergic to the preservatives?).  Stopped the vitamins and herb (black kohosh for hot flashes).  I am not convinced that any of those changes are what helped (I am not back on the vitamins and black kohosh).  I also changed soaps - now using Dove (sensitive skin, unscented).  I have been sleeping through the night consistently now for just over a month.  I have found 2 other things that help tremendously:  aloe - yes, right from the plant.  It's very soothing and is good for the skin, also helps to regenerate the skin.  Also, a topical anesthetic gel with benzocaine (20%) in it works WONDERS.  Try Colgate Orabase Gel With Benzocaine.  Yes, this is usually used around the lips/mouth, but it is a numbing agent and when used on the vulva it does the same thing - numbs it.  This will stop you from itching and, assuming that there is no STD or other underlying problem (i.e. the itching is brought on by stress), this will provide the skin with a chance to heal without you constantly scratching it.  Use it at night and you'll be able to sleep the night through.  The aloe and the benzocaine did NOT cause a UTI or yeast infection where many other things I tried did.

I now believe my saga is stress-induced.  I am focused on managing the stress in my life.  However, if I'm still having problems in a month, I will have the biopsy to ease my mind that it is not cancer.  It is much, much, much, better than it was, but it is still there.  I also find it incredibly odd that the majority of us, if not all, are afflicted with this on the RIGHT side.  Very odd.  

Hope you all are finding help, comfort, and SLEEP.


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I am glad you have found some relief and are getting tests done. I was thinking about how odd it is that most of us are affected on the right side as well. I just saw my gyn again and it is stumping her. Everything that she can think of that is might be would affect both sides. I am still convinced that my itch at least is affected by hormones by even that does not explain the one sided itch.

I am curious...is there anyone here that has just a left side itch?
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Amazing to stumble across this finally and yes sisters the symptoms are the same. Very embarasing, once a boyfriend woke me up telling me that i was scratching in my sleep.  Yes, mainly on the right side, occasional flare up on left, but always heals quicker.  I have had this since i was 16, before becoming sexual.  One doctor prescribed the Triamcinoline (get the vasoline base, not the cream which dries the skin out while the vasoline base gives a barrier)   i only use it when it gets bad, becuase it is a steriod and is just a band-aid.  LIke all of you I have been searching for a cure, to no avail.  But things that help are: esp if you are diagnosed with excema is increasing your intake of EFA's   esp Evening primrose and fish oils.  good for you in many ways for hormones and skin.  Topically i use Jojoba oil (jojoba is really a wax and has the same ph as our skin, why it is so great) out of the shower and I find that creams with zinc oxide (diaper creams, burts beez and weleda make good ones) Essentially make a water (pee/sweat) proof barrier helps panty liners DONT help.  I find that the band on my cotton undies is part of the problem, i just saw a woman who invented a stretchy panty with no bands for the purpose of panty lines, but thought i would try those.  but they are made of synthetic material.  She has her stuff in Nordstroms and Macy's and they are packaged in chinese take out containers.  Any body try these yet?   I would also reccomend perfume free detergents, and a great body wash that doesnt sting is Shikai, soap free with aloe and oatmeal, use a dollop with a puff scrubby feels like heaven.  I am also going to check into the Viaderm cream.  Yes its good we are not in victorian times, but like all the itchy sisters, I hope we can find a cure.  It sucks to have doctor after doctor throw up thier hands and tell me its dermatitis (itchy skin).
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Hi and welcome-

I love all of your natural suggestions. I have been trying so hard to find treatments that are not just take another pill or use another cream that often wreak havoc on our bodies in another way. I too have finally started to take Evening Primrose oil and Omega 3 fish oils. I do feel that is helps a little bit. And I also use Shikai because it feels like it is adding something opposed to stripping my skin. I mentioned in an earlier post something you might like as you can find it at all of the same shops as Weleda and Shikai. It is Emerita-Personal Moisturizer. It has Aloe, vitamin E, calendula and ginseng in it and is the first thing I have found that gives me any relief. It has not eliminated the problem but it greatly eases the discomfort.  
Good luck to you and all here!
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has anyone found any lumps like pimples in between the labia?
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FYI  just looked it up and the viaderm kc is another brand name for the triamcinolone (corticosteroid) plus the most common generic anti fungal and antibacterial (generic neosporin)  I think i will stay away from that one, thats like carpet bombing everything in hopes of finding one thing.  I would reccomend trying (and to save $) one or the other in over the counter form.   A few years ago i checked to see if it was 'jock itch' and the cream did nothing. so i know its not fungal for me.  
Meerkat- No i dont see pimples,  but it could be hair follicles you see.  
PhoebeRose- i know the emrita line.  havent tried that one but they make good products, i am sure i will be using the progest cream one day.   I havent found that aloe 'lubes' help 'outside' as much as something thicker,  I forgot to mention my other favorite product Egyptian Magic   which does have bee juice in it which may help if it is a fungal or bacterial and it makes a great lube as well as a hair conditioner (read the package, you can use it for gazillions of things)  also available in any good health food store or ho foods.  
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I thought I would just update my experience with Clobetasol.  Yes, it is a powerful steroid cream.  I have used it only 6 times in the last 3 weeks.  I feel like myself again,  my skin looks healed and I feel great!   Better yet, NO ITCHING!  My biopsy sore is gone and it really was worth it in the end to know what I had.   I felt that the best avenue to get this skin condition taken care of is having a gynecologist (and a very proactive one) and dermatologist working together.  I know the steroid creams can have some undesireable side effects such as skin thinning, but that is usually only happens with prolong use, but this has worked so well for me, that I would hate anyone having to go another sleepless night when there could possibly be a solution.   I am being weaned to a less powerful steroid this coming week.  I'll let you know of my progress.  
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Hi ladies! Just thought I'd update everyone. As I write this I am forcing myself not to scratch! I am still waiting for an appointment with my new gynecologist. Until then I have developed a little ritual that has brought some relief: every night I take a shower using Dove unscented soap for sensitive skin, pat myself dry with some Kleenex and then I slather on the Vaseline and put on loose cotton PJs. This helps in two ways: I think it makes me more aware of my scratching at night, and therefore prevents me from scratching as much, and secondly, because of the Vaseline and the reduced scratching, my skin is not sore and bleeding anymore, though it is certainly still itchy!

I wanted to ask what people are doing about their hair down there! I have very coarse hair and it seems anything I do only makes the situation worse, but if I don't remove it and only keep it trimmed, it only makes me itchier... what do I do? I'm afraid to wax when my skin is already such a mess, shaving is not an option with my coarse hair, since the stubble and ingrown hairs would make my life even more miserable... I read that one person here has had success with waxing though, so I thought I'd ask if anymore of you have had good/bad experiences with it. I will definitely be bringing up this issue with my doctor when I finally see her.

Good luck and best wishes for itch-free nights ahead! :)
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Well, I've been watching this post for months and had finally got the courage to just go see a Dermatologist rather than trying to rely on my gyno. So here's the scoop: I've been itchy in my genital area for as long as I can remember (I'm 23 now) and have always been really embarrassed about it. So when I asked my gyno how to make it stop she (several "she's") would tell me to change something (ie. soap, detergent, cotton underwear, etc.) and I would to no avail! Finally the dermatologist took a biopsy (ABSOLUTLY recommended!) and it turns out that I have Psoriasis... and just on my genitals!! Go figure. Anyway, I'm now on a steroid cream and after two weeks am already feeling a great relief! So my advice to you, as many before me, is to get a biopsy!! Have the skin tested in a lab and let them figure out what it is so you can start treating it. If your gyno wont help you go to a dermatologist... they'll help you with the outer skin of your genitals. Good luck and I wish you all peaceful nights and relief from the itching.
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Thank you all for writing.  I've been itchy for 4 years.  Six years ago I had laser surgery to  burn abnormal cells off my cervix that were caused by HPV.  All of my paps since have been normal.  I've been misdiagnosed with a chronic yeast infection for years.  I've take two 30-day courses of Diflucan (one pill a day), I've tried every suppository known to man, boric acid, baking soda, garlic, you name it.  I've had my thyroid tested, screened for herpes.  No answers.  I've tried hydrocortizone and now I'm on a stronger steroid cream, Clobetasol Propionate 0.05%.  The relief is only temporary at best.  The itching has turned to a burning in the last couple of weeks.  Now sex is painful, the condom lubricant is like fire.  My last gyno appointment had my doctor shrugging.  He's out of ideas and he has other patients with solvable problems to attend to.  I'm not giving up, though.  I'm going to a new gyno next week armed with all of the info that is posted above. I think if I hear "wear cotton undies" one more time I'll scream.   I'll certainly share any forms of relief if I find them.  
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i have the same problem with you. What remedy does help you a lot? have you cured it already? please help me.
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i have the same problem with you guys. What remedy does help you a lot? have you cured it already? please help me.
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It's almost comforting ( although ironic ) how so many of us women have the same itching problem.  I have read every single posting and the only difference in my case is I have a watery discharge in addition to the itching.  I too feel like bugs are crawling around my labia, my clitoris itches, my vagina also itches. In addition, my public area where my hair starts also itches.  My itching is not limited to my labia or vulva.  I have to been tested for STD's and yeast infections, and have none.  I also wake up 3 or 4 times in the night itching.  I find myself going to the bathroom at work to go itch in a stall.  Back to the watery discharge....it's gross.  I can be sitting at my desk at work and simply bend over to pick up a paper on the floor and I feel like a flood of fluid coming from my vagina.  I run to the bathroom, thinking I've gotten my period or something and when I wipe, its just watery.  What the heck?????  Anyone have this???
Oh by the way, I'm 38.
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I started out with itching about 5 weeks ago, but it soon turned to burning.  I've been doing research as my doctor thought it was yeast and put me on a weekly dose of Diflucan - but then my lab results came back normal.   She put it down to a sensitivity to the yeast medication and that I had to use Aqueous Cream for a week.  I took a week of work (office job) and it improved so I thought the cream was working. But I have since gone back and it is as bad as before.  I now think it is down to excessive sitting (2 hour commute/8 hours sitting at desk).  I think mine might be a nerve related problem when I found this: http://www.urmc.rochester.edu/smd/Rad/Pudendal.pdf

The term burning and 'crawling on the skin' perfectly describes it for me.  I do think everything else needs to be ruled out, but I am thinking that I need to make a lifestyle change.

Let me know your opinions, or if your doctors know anything about PNE.

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Allergy to the fragrance or other chemicals in shampoo/conditioner/hairspray etc. could be an issue. I have had alelrgies for years and often even a very mild allergy can trigger extreme exzema (eczema)....especially after repested exposure. This is my problem I think - and the itching in the vulva area is UNBEARABLE (not to mention embarassing!). I now shower with a shower cap, then wash hair separately kneeling by the tub and using the tub spigot. This seesm to really help. I am currently seeking hypoallergenic shampoo I like. The skin in the vulva region is very thin and sensitive to chemicals. Rinsing very well does not help much because the fragrance can absorb in that area so fast....the hair follicles in the area just increase the absorbtion rate. I also have flaky skin aroound my eyebrows and itchy eyelids - same reason.  Anyway, maybe  take a look at your shampoo or other chemicals that you use on your hair maybe this will help someone else out there. do. My sympathies to all who share this ailment!
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Oh yeah - and related to the chemical/allergy thing - before I figured it out I found the itching was much better on days I didn't shower - so that is how I started being suspicious of shampoo/hair care products. I'll let you know if it gets better when I find a hypoallergenic shampoo that seems to work for my hair.
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Here are some new allergens that are being added to the patch tests for contact dermatitis in 2007 some of these appear to be potential cuases of itchy problems in the vulvar area (full article at http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/529352)

Disperse Blue 106 -
Allergic contact dermatitis to textile dyes is not common, but dyes do account for 80% of textile allergies. The most common sensitizers belong to the disperse dye application class. These dyes loosely adhere to fibers and are easily rubbed off. Disperse blue dyes have been reported to cause allergic contact dermatitis. Note that fabric does not have to be blue to contain disperse blue dyes; the blue dye may be a component of another color. Presentations include generalized pruritus, periaxillary bands, and hand dermatitis. Garments implicated include underwear, blouses, pants, swimming suits, pantyhose, shoulder pads, and the velvet material of leggings and body suits.[11] The distribution of the dermatitis is often widespread, usually corresponding to areas that come into contact with clothing. Often, the dermatitis is worse in areas with increased friction and sweating. In men, this is often the collar area on the neck. In women, this includes the axillary folds, vulva, and suprapubic area. In both sexes, the waistband area, upper thighs, popliteal fossae, and buttocks are commonly involved.[10] In some instances, the dermatitis may be localized to the hands alone.[12]

Cocamidopropyl Betaine -
Cocamidopropyl betaine (CAPB) is a surfactant primarily used in personal cleansing products.[14] Although most commonly found in rinse-off products, the chemical nonetheless has been shown to induce allergy.[15] The most frequent site of dermatitis from CAPB is the head and neck region,[16] but other sites may be affected. Widespread dermatitis attributed to CAPB in shampoo has been reported.[17]

Methyldibromo Glutaronitrile -
Methyldibromo glutaronitrile (MDGN) is a broad-spectrum preservative used more often in cosmetics over the past decade.[6] Contact allergy to MDGN is common. At St John's Institute of Dermatology, London, United Kingdom, rates of positive reactions are increasing: in 1995, positive test results were 0.2% in men and 0.3% in women; in 2000, positive test results were 2.2% in men and 1.5% in women.[7] Sites of involvement often include the head and neck (shampoo, detergents), hands (hand lotion), and the perianal area (moistened toilet tissue).[6] MDGN has been implicated in chronic hand dermatitis in a patient using liquid soap.[8] Leave-on cosmetics and moistened toilet tissue seem to be more important sources than rinse-off products.


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theres tons of questions on here about itching, but i figured id post again anyway. everyone else here seems to have itching constantly, but mine comes and goes randomly. sometimes its after sex, which isnt surprising, as ive heard *** and friction can definitely mildly irritate down there. the itching, when it comes, has gotten more and more bearable over time (its been 6 months). at the beginning of july the itch was unbearable at times, but it never gets to that point anymore. i wash regularly with soap and water, and always try and urinate/wash up after sex (without condom, btw, im on the pill). im not sure what this could be. i had an STD test in august and everything came back negative... but the more i read here the less i trust my results, with all the stories of people having wrong tests or not being tested for what they think they were. i want to trust my results, but things i read here tend to scare me! is HPV tested for in your pap smear or blood tests? could it be my pill? ive been on it since 2005 but never had this problem.. but i also only had sex like once a week then (the lat six months its been at least once daily). thanks for any thoughts.
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Hey, I am 18 years old and I have been itching since about 12..  Seriously.  It has consumed my life and I hate it soo much.. I thought I was completely alone and weird for having this itch all of the time..  I have done a lot of research on it and never could find anything until today..  I am so happy to have found other people who I can relate to and have the same problem (as much as it sucks).  I am horribly self concious with my boyfriend.. I won't let him see me because the itching of my vulva leaves it a redish/dark color, dry,  sore most of the time.. He does'nt know what I am dealing with, he just thinks I am self concious..  But I don't want him to be weirded out.. But that is a whole different subject.. It is not just because of him that I need this to go away.. I just can't deal with it anymore.. I guess you could say that he is the motivation to get help once and for all.  I babysit for my doctor and I have seen her atleast 3 times a week for the past 2 years.. I have yet to tell her about this, she would be happy to help me too, I don't know what I am doing.. I just have became use to it after 5 or more years..  Its just really reallllly  embarassing as most of you probably know.  anyways.. Hopefully I get up the guts to say something to my doctor soon! ughhh I hate this!
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I have been itching and burning for the last year and a half, the same as all of you describe.  It has finally stopped!  I have a suggestion.  I have been doing a lot of research on fluoride because of my fibromyalgia symptoms, (fluoride toxicity and fibromyalgia have almost the exact same symptoms) and when I cut out all of the fluoride I could (tap water, toothpaste, tea, soup, sodas and juice) the vaginal itching stopped and everything started to heal (as well as a lot of other symptoms gradually going away).  The dark redness has gone away and the area looks like a normal pink.  I washed once since then with tap water (no soap) instead of distilled or spring water and I got a crack that started to hurt.  Just for your own interest I discoved that the fluoride that is added to water is not pharmacuetical grade fluoride, it is what is scrubbed from the smoke stacks from plants that have it left over from their processing, and is usually bound to lead and arsenic.  Fluoride is a toxic poison that was first used as a rat poison and is on the same level of toxicity as arsenic.  It builds up in the body over time.  There is tons of research that shows many people have the symptoms of fluoride toxicity, (although doctors rarely even recognize it, they have been indoctronated as well that it is beneficial), but it in the interests of the plants who produce it to keep it in the water since they don't have to dump it at prohibitive costs, and actually get paid large amounts to ship it for water.  It can't hurt to try eliminating it and see what happens.
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Just one other suggestion.  There are many drugs that are fluoridated as well so don't forget them when you are trying an elimination.
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I'm 24 and my vulvar itching started about 6 months ago. I've gone through the gammet of disorders and things of that nature. I'm so glad to hear that other women are having this problem. I scratch so much I have bad looking vulva skin and today at work I scratched off a scab and it bled profusely for over 20 mins. Sometimes it gets so bad I cry when I scratch. My boyfriend thinks I'm crazy and I should just stop scratching. The only thing that seems to help ( quite a bit) is loratidine, which is just Caritin, because I think it's caused by anxiety more than anything, but who knows. I'm going to the MD Thursday and hopefully I'll get some answers, but chances are good that I'll just live with it forever.

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I'll also say that it's not an STI or pinworm or anything that I can pinpoint from what I know of infectious diseases. I also use anti-itch lotion,but it helps minimally. What a cruel disorder to have, isn't it? Vulva itching! If I knew what caused it I wouldn't feel so anxious about it, and that just makes it worse. Oi Vey!
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Hi Ladies,  I had a biopsy last Tuesday and got the results today:  Lichen Planus.  LOTS of information on the internet about it.  Most say it is made worse by stress.  Funny, this condition TOTALLY stresses us out, so that in itself ensures the vicious cycle continues...itch, scratch, stress, itch, scratch, stress....The treatment prescribed for me is a steroid cream.  It was stressed to use it EXACTLY as the doctor prescribed (i.e., just because I feel better, don't stop).  It starts as twice/day for 1 month, then once/day for one month, and finally once/month.  I am to go back in a couple months for a follow-up visit.  Specifically, I was prescribed TRIAMCINOLONE 0.1%.  There are several theories about how this skin disorder starts, but nothing known for sure.  I have a couple theories about how it started for me.  First, let me say that this started at a VERY stressful time in my life, so I definitely think that whatever the trigger was, the stress just gave it a huge boost.  My theories:  1.  a side effect of an antibiotic prescription (CEPHALEXIN).  2.  Sounds crazy, but an allergic reaction to dryer sheets (I hadn't used them, but the previous homeowner used them in the dryer that came with my house).  I keep ridiculously meticulous records, so I will go back to those days when this all started and try to figure it out.  Can anyone else think back to when the itching started and possibly point to an antibiotic?

I would like to say something to the women who haven't been to a doctor because of fear or embarrassment.  First, A LOT of "ailments" can be ruled out with a simple swap of the labia or the area effected.  This can eliminate many, many things - including herpes.  The biopsy was a "last resort" for me, but in hindsight, WHY DID I WAIT SO LONG??????  I found the biopsy to be virtually painless.  The worst part has been the "thread" from the 3 stitches - I just want it gone because it looks gross!  The pain, discomfort, and self-inflicted embarrassment we have been living with is MUCH worse than the biopsy was.

I will check back here to let you all know how my treatment is coming along.  Please ladies, go to a doctor!  Get the swab done first if you want to take baby steps.  But definitely get the biopsy!

I wish you all no more itching, peace, and Merry Christmas!          
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I am healed!  But it wasn't steroid creams that saved me.  No, my last 6 week round of Clobetasol started out great but by the time I was on Triamcinolone I could tell that the Lichen was coming back.  I couldn't get an appointment with my gynecologist  (who has been really the one who has helped me get a diagnosis,) etc. for 3 weeks!  I could not go through weeks of not sleeping again so I got  on the internet and stumbled upon an article written by a registered nurse who deals with homeopathy.  Here is the Link:http://www.aarticleboard.com/articles/18307/1/From-a-Nurse-Using-Coconut-Oil-as-a-Treatment-for-Eczema/Page1.html

I read her article about using natural oils and went back over my timetable of when I first broke out with the Lichen Simplex Chronicus.  I was baffled as to what could have caused it as I have never had skin problems my whole life.  All this time I thought that it was from my formaldehye allergy but when I recently had a cold and took a antihistimine to dry up my sinuses....it hit me like a rock....antihistimines dry out your membranes.  So, if they can dry my nose out, could they dry me out down there too?  I was on Allegra for over 4 months in an effort to calm my skin down.  Could I be allergic to anti-histimines or very sensitive to them?   Could we all be sensitive to them that are on this board....it seems to me that doctors are very eager to give antihistimines, particularly very strong ones.  Benadryl makes me loopy and others make me feel like a truck ran over me.  
Anyway, I thought about my theory and decided that if it was the antihistimines, I just needed to super hydrate my skin; not with water, only with oils.    So with the Helen Hecker, R.N., advice I came up with a system that has worked wonders for me...better then any cortisone cream and with nothing that can harm me.
Each day I take a oatmeal bath with 1 Tablespoon olive oil and just a little bit of Cetaphil.  I soak until my fingers start to prune (about 20 minutes)  My bath water is lukewarm not hot.  I come out of the tub oily and I pat dry, making sure not to wipe the oil completely off.  Wet is bad, oily is good.   Then I put on Vitamin E oil on and Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil and rub gently using a generous amount on the lichened area.  The coconut oil smells great.  For the first week I put it on the Vitamin E 2x a day and the Coconut Oil four times.  The total cost for both was a little over $20.00 and you get a lot!  The first week I noticed that my skin was changinig, slowly ....it would tingle a little bit when I first put it on, not sting, just tingle and then go away.  This treatment allowed me to most importantly be able to sleep, but I never realized just how dry my skin was.   Two weeks have gone by since I started this routine, but my lichen is nearly gone.  With the furnace going, I noticed that my legs get itchy, so I pulled out my tub of coconut oil, rubbed it in and 10 minutes later, no itching.  I sleep solid through the night and my skin is healing without the lichen coming back.  I can't believe it!   Even if I have to use this for the rest of my life, I know it won't hurt me like those steroids can.  

I do think that stress does play a part in letting this illness get out of hand.  If you can't relax because of the itching how in the world can you get any rest or sleep?!  It is a vicious cycle....stress.....itch....antihistimines....dryout more....itch....antihistimines....stress....get the idea?  I have one more week before I go see the doctor and I am only using the Vitamin E once and the Coconut Oil twice a day now...and that is all I need.  I am looking forward to telling my dermatologist and gynecologist that I cured my self....now if only I can get a refund for all the doctors appointments and medicine I have used!?   I'll keep you posted!

Wishing you an itchless Christmas!
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I found this websight last night when I typed in a search, "how to cure labia itching". I started with itching "down there" in Sept. 2002. I hah had several yeast infections prior to that date. I figured when I itched that time it was just another ( was 47 at the time and I had never had yeast before Sept. 2001 ) . I didn't have an infection, but the itching continued...unbeknown to me at the time, it continued until July 2005. I tried clobetasol, the candida diet, suppositories, vitamin E, eliminated washing with soap, antifungals, went from doctor to doctor, treatment to treatment, opinion to opinion,etc..etc.. Like many on this sight, I went through EVERYTHING to figure out WHY I itched there !
In May 2005 I sought help at the Women's Center at Harvard Vanguard in Burlington, MA. I saw a nurse practicianer there whom I instantly liked. She suggested I had vulvodynia. She sent me home with a weekly dose of diflucan ( to oid off yeasts ), and instructions to use dye free laundry aids, use NO soap on myself,and estrace cream to use topically ( at the time I was perimenopausal, not I'm postmenopausal) Sometime in July 2005, I miraculously "cured". I THOUGHT I had my life back.....Occasionally I'd feel a slight picking sensation, and riding a bike was uncomfortable, but otherwise I felt fine..........Until Oct. 2007.... when the itching resumed. I went back to Harvard Vanguard on Nov. 20, 2007 and this time I had a horrid experience there with one of the head doctors. Unbelieveable.... she was dismissive and unsympathetic. I left crying !
A friend led me to try a doctor of naturopathic medicine right in my home town ( I live in a rural area that's small ). On Dec. 13 I saw her. I liked her very much. She feels my problem could start as an intestinal yeast, possiblely parasite problem. Because the female reproductive area is so close to where the intestines lie. She put me on a supplement. The only draw back was it contains a small starin of lactobacillus , of which I found in 2003, purely by accident, that I'm "allergic" to. It ACTUALLY MAKES me ITCH !   So since Dec. 14 I 've been taking 4-6 of these capules a day. Because the amount was very small and it contained other ingredients ( all to sooth, heal and improve the intestinal tract, as well as other sensitive tissue in the body...i.e. vula,..I thought I'd tolerate it )I just recently stopped because my itching seemed worse. All up on the upper part of the labia and into the pubic hair area. I decided that if I stay off of that for a week and my itching gets better, then I'll know its the supplement and I can tell her at my Jan. appointment. I've been using a combination of lidocaine, eastrace, vasoline and clobetasol. Not in any order, just which ever helps on a given day. I found the stories on this sight VERY encouraging and also SAD, to think so many of us are out there suffering with this ridiculous and seemingly incureable condition. Not one other woman that I know has ANY clue as to how I feel. Many just don't understand and I feel strange telling them about myself. It's a condition I feel women suffer through in silence. It's not like when one is asked, "how are you today", you can reply, "ohhh, not too well, my labia is itching bad today" !
I spend lots of time in tears and feel SO frustrated !
I also have found that I can't eat anything SWEET, no sugar, maple syrup, no honey, no soda, no candy, NOTHING like that. That's a bummer. My daughter's 15th birthday is next week and I will have to watch everyone eat cake !!!  
On Dec. 22 I had a bad day with what seemed like a terrible, burning, stinging, "biting" sensation on my labia. Since it was the Saturday before Christmas I had to go to the emergency room for help as my doctor's  ( obgyn) office wasn't going to open until Dec. 27. They drew blood for a herpes test. There's NO way in hell, I could have an std, but I when read the post for 9/14/07 from "beautifulsaddness" and felt like I could have written that. I too will be SURPRISED if my result is positive, but also a bit relieved, because then I'd have a concrete reason for my itching...maybe !
So good luck to all out there. Keep up the searching, researching, the trials and the frustrations of this, may be SOMEDAY there will be answers ! And for those of you using any lactobacillus ( spelling ? ) try taking it out of your routine and see if you improve, I know it's NOT for me... WHY ? I have NOOoo idea ! But that also wasn't the reason I began it itch in the first place, it just doesn't help in my recovery !
itchysad !
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I have been miss diagnosed for 14 yrs...I went off cortisone cream 3 days ago. Tried a few things and finually figured it out. Try this..Take a shower get out, pour on pantene conditioner for wavey/curly hair-(like your deep conditioning the hair on your head).Take out a fan and put it on for 10 min. Get 2 ice cubes and a cold wash cloth and put it on the areas that are inflamed, irritated,front to back.Watch tv for 2hrs and get 2 more cubes when melted. After 2 hrs let it dry naturally. As it does, you can use a fan and put more conditioner on areas if ya want.Remember very little soap and gobs of conditioner.In fact i wouldn't use any soap and only cool water till you feel 100% better down there. Best wishes to all of you, i understand how upsetting this is and i hope i helped someone:)
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I just wanted to share my experience and see if anybody out there could be helped by it.I signed in a week or so ago as "itchysad", now I'm more like "itchy-better" !
I am presently using a product called Fungal Defense made by Garden of Life. It has decreased my itching considerably. My naturopath honestly thinks I had an intestinal overgrowth of some sort of fungus/yeast. Because of the location of our intestines and the female private parts.... the sensitive tissues get aggrivated, thus the itching. I still have to be careful as to what I eat, as I have food triggers. That's hard because when I feel less itching, I tend to eat the way I want. But I'm better and hope to continue. I'm taking a full 6 weeks of this stuff, 6 tablets per day, 2 @ 3X a day. Look it up on the web, before you purchase any. Read about it, I did. I thought it would be more money wasted on a product, but it was NOT ! It's all natural, contains no "medicine" and I don't feel any side effects, except I thought a dull headache, at times. This could be due to "die off" of the toxins my body is now eliminating. I went from being so itchy I couldn't stand to be out in public, or do the things I love, to being social again and engaging in my life.... again !  
Hope this helps even just one of you...it'd make my suffering worth it !!
itchy sad =  itchy-better !
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I've read each & every comment here & what a wonderful contribution to our welbeing they are. Another one here who's suffered with this for possibly 10 years + (now aged 37). It's always there but at times much worse than others. What I find interesting is that others have also mentioned the right side only as mine is too. What is this? Why does no one know? Stress I also believe is a trigger. I have at times absolutely refused to itch (which isn't easy) but the desire to itch gets less if you are able to resist a scratch when at it's worst. That's the only time I get relief is when I absolutely refuse to satisfy it, which can ease the symptons for weeks. When I do scratch, sometimes in my sleep this just irritates those little crawling bug that we feel. I've also used antifungal & athletes foot creams & powders when desperate which have cooled and helped. A biopsy is something I'll consider as my doctor put it down to my hair follicles (how stupid). Future posters please mention where the itching is ie: left or right or all over for research & stastical purposes. Thanks to all above for making me feel not so alone & worried about this.
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cont. Upss forgot to mention & don't want to worry anyone but my mother-in-law died from cancer of the vulva aged just 54. The only symptons she experienced was itching of the vulva (nothing else) and doctors failed to diagnose this until it was too late. I don't think that's the case with the above but it may just alert someone to get themselfs checked out.
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Just wanted to let you know that I suffer the same as you all and have found tremendous relief by using plain old ordinary "Aspercreme".  Give it ten minutes to work.  Hope this helps.
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Listen to beautifulsadness,she made me think I also have Herpes had it since I was 18, when Doctors did'nt know much about it .I'm now 46 got it from my FIRST BOYFRIEND, and with HERPES it dorms in your nerve system .I had the exact same symptom you all are having itching on the right side, my GYN Dr. said I just had dry skin, then I notice if I did not drink enough water my Clitoris would itch because I was dehydrated so I drink water. Water did not help this time I became a little concern,then the mind start to play games with you ,it started to feel like Public Lice (Had that too) with my third boyfriend dont think I'm A ***** AM NOT only had five boyfriends in my 46 years, but now I'm happily married for 20 years with two boys and a ITCH that I've had for a week I need to see my GYN Dr. Thanks to  beautifulsadness, I can say to the Dr is it related to HERPES ? SO PLEASE EVERYBODY GET TESTED FOR  HERPES!!!!!!
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Wow, I guess its true misery loves company. Well I have had this itch for two months now. I thought it was due to menopause I am 50. Now I don't know with all the young ones here. I have Lupus and Sjogrens Syndrome which both cause dryness everywhere. If it's not one thing it's another. I take lots of baths and try to keep my hands off if it, but its sooooooo hard not to itch it. I use Watkins Petro slave it works great but it only lasts half the day so I use it at least twice a day. Like many of you heat, sweat, and being near my period is worst. I go without my underware in the house, I just wear sweat pants. Well if I fing something I'll let you guys know.
Kim
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Wow, I guess its true misery loves company. Well I have had this itch for two months now. I thought it was due to menopause I am 50. Now I don't know with all the young ones here. I have Lupus and Sjogrens Syndrome which both cause dryness everywhere. If it's not one thing it's another. I take lots of baths and try to keep my hands off if it, but its sooooooo hard not to itch it. I use Watkins Petro slave it works great but it only lasts half the day so I use it at least twice a day. Like many of you heat, sweat, and being near my period is worst. I go without my underware in the house, I just wear sweat pants. Well if I find something I'll let you guys know.
Kim
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Wow, finding this thread gave me back my hope. I'm having this  itch on my outer labia from the clit up, but it stops at my mons pubis. Mine started after using Tampax 10 months ago. The night after, bam, itching. I tested for a lot of stuff. My results depend on the lab. I get rare Candida spores, I also tested positive for all sorts of germs Serratia Marcescens, Klebsiella, Enterococcus Fecalis. I treated for all these but the itching is still there.
I used to be really red down there, but I did not scratch. Now my skin looks close to normal (very, very little redness) but I itch at night (on both sides) and have burning, stinging sensation during the day.
I have seen around 5 ob-gyns, one dermatologist that called me crazy. I am now seeing a new dermatologist (an old guy that's known for diagnosing the odd stuff) and I will test next week for mycoplasma, ureaplasma, will have a candida culture and a urine culture (I read in another forum about this girl that had vulvar itch because of a bladder infection).
I already had the herpes tests (type 1 and 2). They show I've been exposed to one of them (they do not tell to which), but I do not currently have an active infection (IgG is positive, IgM test is negative).
I also had the HIV test, it came back negative.
My vulvar itch developed at the same time as my perioral dermatitis (the dermatologist said there is no connection). The other dermatologist said it's not perioral dermatitis, but rosacea.
I asked for a biopsy, they wouldn't do it because my vulva looks fine. No skin thinning or thickening.
I also cannot use vaginal pessaries, Bepanthene, Nizoral creams, steroid creams because they burn my skin.
The only thing that helps, but does not make it go away completely is a plant gel.
I also wash my underwear with water only at high temperature, use only cotton underwear, wear mostly skirts because trousers make my skin burn because of the friction.
What is odd is that sex makes me feel better. It's like my natural lubrication calms down the itching.
So my next steps to take for me are:
- tests for bladder infection
- mycoplasma, ureaplasma tests
- candida test
I will also like to test for HPV and chlamidia (I'll do that next week).
And I'll pester my docs to perform a biopsy and a skin scratch.
Although I keep thinking it's some infection from the tampon I used (just before using it my gyn tests said I had no lactobacilly in my vagina and maybe that's why I developed an infection).
Anyway, good luck to you all, don't give up.
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I'm reading these amazed at how many of us share these symptoms and at how bad the medical field is at diagnosing them! I'm 37 and have had itchy scaling since I can remember. I also have some behind my ears and on my scalp. I will not go back to a derm b/c they will simply give me creams that will mask the problem and possibly be unsafe to use long term (cortisone).

I agree wholeheartedly with what someone upthread said that STRESS is a huge trigger to the itching. That is very common in excema and psoriasis. Please be careful what products you choose to use! Check out www.skindeep.com to check the safety of the creams and lotions you use on your skin. Most cosmetics are full of chemicals that have only been moderately tested for safety - if even that. Ort skin is an organ and it absorbs everything your put on it! So please be careful! Even something like Dove sensitive has chemicals like parabens that could be contributing to your itching.

I recommend California Baby products (Calenda Cream) and Keys products (Tortunga Healing lotion). Also they have good non-soap cleansers. It's chronic inflammation, so work on reducing the inflammation and lowering stress - both mental and physical!

Good luck!
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I am soooo glad I found this website.  I also thought I was going crazy.  I was diagnosed with lichen sclerosis after the birth of my second child.  I was given temovate (steriod ointment) and Sarna over the counter anti-itch cream  (definately worth trying contains no steriods).  That was 10 years ago.  This helped me for many years.  Just like most of you I know when my period is coming because 7 to 10 days before I get really super itchy down there.  Then a few years into this I developed this white flaky patch on my left side of my labia.  I continued to use my meds from the dermatologist.  Just the last few months, I started itching so bad and it felt like something was crawling on my skin.  I could swear I had a bug down there.  I could never see anything crawling and I looked many times.  Finally I asked my doctor for Elimite which is for scabies and lice because I thought I must have one of them.  After using cream the white flakes flaked off and I looked normal again leading me to believe that I had something even though I am very clean.  Now 9 days after using the Elimite the patch came back and I feel as though I have a bug crawling down there again.  Can't see anything.  I really feel as if I am going to go crazy.  Went to my doctor and asked him to order blood work up and make sure I don't have anything strange. Also I have a derm appt. on Tues.  I will let you know if I find out anything to help the rest of you!  

Hang in there!!
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For those of you wondering if anyone out there gets the itch only on the left side, YES, I do.  No redness or flakes or bumps, just this chronic itching, and only on my outer left labia, mostly on the upper end.  Doc told me to treat myself for a yeast infection, though i didn't think it was yeast.  Now thanks to you all, I have a lot more possibilities to explore, and a thing or two to share with the doc.  I've been using Vagisil to control the itch, which has helped a bit, or simply washing my crotch with soap and water.  I'll try not using the soap, but I like to feel clean down there, so I'll see how it goes.  I am shocked the doc didn't seem to offer any other suggestions about ruling out other possible causes.  
I'm 33 and have had this itch for almost 3 years.  I can't believe how long I've let it go on.  Thanks, and good luck to you all!
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yes, also I think the itching gets worse for me after drinking alcohol (particularly red wine), and eating chocolate and other sweets.  And worse starting 7-10 days before I bleed.  PH balance and hormones must be somewhat of a factor, though how can I give up wine and chocolate, especially when I'm premenstrual?!!  

Again, thanks, ladies, it is encouraging to know I'm not alone with this.  I feel much less overwhelmed and hopeless.  I will see the doc soon, and definitely will ask about STDs and swabs and biopsies....fun, fun, fun!
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This is unbelievable that I have found so many women that have the same problem as I do.  I honestly thought that I was all alone with this problem.  I do not need to explain or describe the way I feel, as everyone here seems to know exactly what I'm going through.  I have read every single post on this board and, fortunately, have found some new things to try.  Today, I am going to head to the health food store and hopefully pick up some extra virgin coconut oil and give that a try.  I do feel that this has something to do with severe dryness or excema as I can reduce the itching with certain skin creams.  Unfortunately, the itching does not go away and the relief is very temporary.  I'm fed up trying everything OTC that specifies to reduce vaginal itch.  I'm starting to believe that the makers of these products don't even have vaginas, nor know where one is.  
I will post again should I find something that helps me.  If you do not hear from me, then unfortunately I am still suffering.  Good luck to all.  
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Hi all. THANK GOODNESS I found this site. I've been itching for about 7 months, and am currently experiencing severe pain having (once again) broken the skin around my vulva from an attack of scratching earlier today. I've found that witch hazel and nappy rash cream (Sudocrem in the UK) help topically but they don't stop it itching permanently.
I definitely feel there's an itch-scratch connection, trouble is I CAN'T STOP ITCHING. I find the itch moves between my anal, perineal and vulval areas, and if I manage to sort it out in one bit it shifts to the others. I think a little infection or a cut started the itching off and, through scratching, I've kept it going. It affects my sleep as I get woken up in the night by the need to itch (I keep Lanacane at the side of my bed) and also has definitely affected my sex life with my husband as the thought of anyone touching the sore area is terrible.
Someone recommended meditation to me as a way of coping, so I'll give that a go next and hopefully break this terrible cycle.
I was wondering about going to the doctor or GUM clinic, but I'm quite embarrassed about it and, having read your comments above, I'm not sure it will be of any help.
Thinking of you all. Good luck!
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IT'S CANDIDA!!!!  No, that's not my name, that is what we are all suffering from.  Candida is yeast overgrowth.  Look it up on the internet!  There are tonnes of sites that specialize in curring this ailment.  
I have always been one to suffer from yeast infections, which is the most common form of Candida, and have noticed during the past year that I am way more itchy than just the common places you would expect with a yeast infection.  Generally, a yeast infection means itch and discomfort inside your vagina and on your vulva, but when yeast gets overgrown(Candida) it spreads.  My body was so taken over by yeast that I was had severe itch EVERYWHERE, from my clitoris to my anus, but mainly on and around my labia.  This is not a condition that can be cured by monistat or canestan.  Those products just mask the problem and don't actually cure it.  YOU ALL NEED TO DO THIS!!!!!  Go to your local health food store and pick up a CANDIDA CLEANSE.  Don't be embarassed to ask for it or ask for more information on it.  And don't cheap out.  Get the best one there is.  If you're not comfortable talking to the person working there, then go to a different one.  Smaller, privately owned health food stores are generally run by a naturopath specialist, so those are the ones to go to.  They know what they are talking about.   It's very easy to do this cleanse as it is all taken orally.  The one I have is a 15 day program.  I am on day 4 and have very little itch already.  It now feels like I just have a yeast infection.  No more labia itch!!!!  
Also,  you will need to follow a very strict diet.  There should be information on this in the box, but there is also tonnes of info on the net.  Just look it up.  There are also several books out there that specialize in Candida and it's cure.  
Since the Candida cleanse kills off all of the bacteria in your body, you will need to replenish that bacteria with good bacteria.  Pick up some active acidophilus(good bacteria that fights off the bad guys) while you are at the health food store as well.  Take a lot of this.  Two caplets at every meal.  
I started this cleanse on Monday evening.  It is now Thursday morning and I feel human again.  Last night I didn't wake up once.  And right now I FEEL NO ITCH!!!
So stop with the topical temporary relief ointments and take care of what's causing this!!!  I want to scream this to the world, so no woman has to suffer again!!!!!
GOOD LUCK!!!!!  WRITE BACK WHEN YOU FEEL BETTER!!!!

I also wanted to add that Candida is NOT from poor hygiene.  Most of the time it is brought on by major hormonal change.  With me it started when I was pregnant(big hormonal change)!  It can also be brought on by diet, some supplements, and environmental influences.  Don't feel "dirty".  You're not.  And this is very curable!!!


Oh, back to my previous note.  I did pick up the coconut oil.  Smells great and is a great moisturizer, but I'm glad I don't need it "down there"!!!!!!!!

PLEASE, PLEASE GO AND DO THIS!!!!!!  YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT!!!!!!
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I am glad you found a cure!  However this is not what everyone on this board is suffering from. While it may be the case for some, your post states this is what we all are suffering from. I think we all agree that it would be wonderful to figure this out and even better to fix it but all we can do is suggest possibilities not assume our solution will be everyones.  

I wish everyone so much luck.
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:(
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It is possible that what some of you are suffering from is tinea cruris.  Some of the symptoms are a red, raised rash with elevated edges, itching, chafing, or burning, flaking, peeling or cracking skin.  Just a thought.

Was reading previous posts and the one about Candida is definitely on to something.  Do some research.  Candida is going to be the next epidemic and it shows itself in many, many forms from yeast infections to psoriasis/excema to depression to heart conditions. This list goes on.  Our modern day society is killing us.  Studies are showing that basically unless you are in 100% perfect health, then chances are you have Candida.  Research.  Good luck.



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Crikey, just how common is this? I'm 42 and my itching started when i was pregnant with my 2nd child, he is 17 now and its probably worse than its ever been. Like most of you i have consulted countless medical professionals and made absolutely no progress. my favourite diagnosis to date has been "its psychosymatic".........
Recently I have began to think about cancer but could it really be possible for 17 years?
my itching is prodominantly on my right labia majora creeping up to clitoris although occaassionally it has flared up on the left but that doesn't usually last very long. I dont have lumps, bumps etc I do scratch untill i break the skin though and then it weeps. I think I have tried every OC medication going and while it sometimes gives instant relief nothing lasts very long or works any more effectively than a cool flannel which i have next to the bed every night. I have tried just ignoring the creeping tingling "bugs" inside feeling, but you will all know how  impossible that is. This itch has at its worse, controlled my life and untill reading this forum I had resigned myself to it being a part of me forever, now I'm not so sure. what I find incredible is just how many of us are suffering with this and how little the medical profession seems to understand about it.
I am tempted if not a little horrified with the vapour rub method. surely if the skin is broken from scratching, thats going to sting like hell..........
I am inclined to agree that stress is a factor here and I also get worse leading upto and during my period. I find sanitary towels almost unbearable and often end up with a folded hand towel in my panties or pj bottoms at night instead.......incidentally the padding of a hand towel can be quite comforting and sometimes helps a chronic tingle to pass if pressed against yourself.
I am so glad I have found this forum and while I feel deeply sorry for all of you I am so relieved that I'm not anywhere near alone. I will be keeping a close eye on here and fingers crossed, finally find a cure.
17yearitch
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Just to update you on my itching and burning... I went to a different doctor and got prescribed clobetasol (sp?) ointment instead of cream.  I used it twice a day for about 3 weeks and then only 1 once a week.  It did take the full 3 weeks to get back to semi-normality -   It hasn't gone away, but it is 90% percent better.  At it's worst it was a 7 or an 8 on discomfort scale and now it is running at a 1 or 2.    The doctor couldn't see any yeast on my culture - so she put it down to dermatitis.  She said it couldn't see anything at all but it did look a bit dry.  So here is a list of the things that I have added to my routine that has helped maintain normality:

E45 Lotion (2xdaily) - this helps a lot
Olive Oil - this is helped a moderate amount
Coconut Oil - this didn't help as much as olive oil, but it smelled great
When it starts to get past a 2 on my discomfort scale I used a cortisone ointment once (the ointment type is only available in the UK under a doctors prescription) and then make sure I keep up with the E45 Lotion 2x daily.

Anyway if yours might be down to dermatitis then I would recommend the above routine.
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I forgot to say that my itching and burning was also accompanied by the crawling sensation.  So I think these symptoms are very related to dryness and dermalogical problems.  
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I hate finding so many of us suffering from this, particularly those who have suffered for so long.  I only started about 2 weeks ago, but I'm starting to feel it's taking over my life.  The itch completely covers my vulval area, and though I don't scratch, I press my hand against it (obviously when I'm alone!) to try to relieve the itch. Now the top of the labia majora are aching and sore. I've seen tiny blood spots when I wipe after the loo, so I've broken skin somewhere.
I've read all the posts on this thread, and have made a list of creams etc that I am going to try and find. A lot of the posts seem to be from the US, so I'm hoping these creams are available in the UK.  Keep posting ladies, and let's see if anyone comes up with real answers, as well as the supportive ones.  It's just so good to know we're not alone with this. BTW, I'm 51 and started menopause with a vengeance about 6 months ago, but have been going through a LOT of stress recently with a new business really taking off, and all the accompanying worries that brings. I am also 6 years into stage II diabetes. Just information for anyone looking for links in symptoms.
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I've had this problem since before November 2007 and finally got into my gynocologist, who did a biopsy and found nothing.  He prescribed me cream that is supposed to deaden the area, but that doesn't work either.  He said I have a cellular reaction to very dry skin.  I asked for something that would take the itch away and haven't heard back from the doctor yet.  The only thing that keeps me half way sane in dealing with all this is Gold Bond 7 moisturizers lotion, applied twice and sometimes 3 times a day.  Everything else, and I mean I have tried, you name it, did not work.  Nobody should have to experience this kind of irritability on a regular basis.  Please can someone find an answer!!!!
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It is miserable to live with this condition.  I have some questions that may seem odd, but I'm wondering if there is any similarities with anyone else.  They are:  Does anybody take Wellbutrin?  Does anybody use Clorex toilet bowl capsules in their toilet and sit on the toilet when they flush?--That is what I thought the problem started with and I stopped sitting while I flushed, but the problem never did get better.  I thought it was a chemical burn.  BUT, now the right side is way worse than the left side, like some of the posts above.  Okay, another question, How many have been checked for diabetes and came back positive?  I haven't yet, but I'm going to do it.  I'm so desparate to get this under control.  Ever aspect of my life is affected by this and my doctor's don't seem to understand.  I have a call to him and am going to ask for that Viaderm cream, just to see.  Good luck to you all.  Hopefully a doctor will run across this site and see how we are suffering.
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I don't know where to release the misery I'm experiencing, so I'm typing here.  I almost can't take it anymore.  It tossed and turned last night, dealing with itch and then pain shooting from where I've itched it raw.  I'm here working, but am so sleepy from not getting good night's rests.  I started using Gold Bond medicated cream, but for some reason, nothing is working these past few days.  I'm on my period, so I wonder if that is why.  I'm flat out miserable.  My next appointment is March 28th and my doctor said to print this thread for him. I don't care if it takes up a whole ream of paper, I'm printing it in hopes that he can understand what we are going through and that there is no relief.  God help us!!

Vicki
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Ok, that's it!

You have all inspired me -- I am making an appointment tomorrow, and I am going to go in and insist on every test right up to and including a biopsy until someone can tell me what this is.  I've been itching like mad for the past two weeks, in my sleep, waking up with blood under my fingernails, and I AM DONE.  This is it, mystery skin disorder, you are going down.
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I'm new to this post and I can honestly say for once in my life I'm finding out other people are going through the exact same thing as me. I 've been experiencing this problem for about four years now I've seen several doctors about this and no one seems to have an answer. I tried several over the counter medicines, prescriptions, and like everyone has mentioned nothing seems to work maybe temporary but not for long. I just try to use creams with moisturizers in them keep cool down there and I wear alot of loose clothing. Thanks for the post guys  
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Four years and no hope?  I'm printing this thread and taking it to my doctor this Friday.  I can't live with this for four years and I can't imagine how you have.  Do you have any tips on how to keep it cool down there?  
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I've been reading this forum for the last few months. What a relief to find others going through the same thing. I've tried everything and talked to my doctor and nothing had helped. This started for me about three and a half years ago. I went through my first pregnancy with this and thought it would go away after giving birth, but never did. I just started using Benedryl anit-itch gel a few weeks ago, and it has worked miracles. It stops the itching almost immediately and last longer than anything else I've used (which is about everything). I sometimes use California Baby Calendula cream too for moisture. But it doesn't seem as dry lately since I'm not scratching. Please everyone try. It has worked so much better for me than cortizone creams, and different kinds of natural oils seemed to make it itchier for me. I pray for all going through this and hope someone can someday find out what this is and what the cure is. Good luck
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I went to the doctor in tears.  He prescribed me more lidocaine, which I told him the first tube did not help.  He said it takes a while to work.  He also prescribed me Clebatosol steroid ointment, which took about 5 days before I could tell a difference.  I'm not as miserable as I was.  Not as itchy, but it's still there.  Next visit, he may refer me to a dermotologist if i'm not 100% healed.  I also noticed some athlete's foot on my left toes.  I read somewhere that it could be an internal high yeast problem and does not show up on biopsies or through the microscope like GYN's are used to seeing.  I have been taking Benadryl pills (2) at night to help me sleep.  Since that and the Clebatosol kicked in a few days ago, I've been able to sleep through the night.  What a blessing that has been.  I'm not wiggling in my seat nor have I been walking funny due to the horrible itch and sometimes it feels like needles are pricking me, depends on how bad I have scratched.   I'm greatful for relief I have gotten thus far, but something tells me it's not over.  I'm not going to give up on a cure.  Good luck to you ladies.  I pray you all have peace in your well-being.
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I'm still doing the Clebatosol ointment twice a day and now my GYN has prescribed Fluconazole, 150 mg., used to treat yeast infections inside the body or any fungus issues.  He's really trying to help me and I'm ever so greatful for that.  It's better than some of the posts I've read on here where they doctors throw up their hands and are out of ideas.  Life sure hasn't been as miserable as it was while I've been using the Clebatosol and the Lidocaine.  I might be talking to myself on this thing, but it feels good to type about such a discomforting problem.  Take care you all and I will continue to pray for our well-being.
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Wow!  Just like all of you, I am reading this, and amazed, saddened and comforted that I am not alone.  I am waiting to hear back from my doctor about scheduling a biopsy (yuck! - but needed).  My symptoms are intense itching, mainly on the right side, sometimes i get flaking and i used to always get woken up during the night.  It was brutal.  As well, I have stopped having sex b/c i dont want to get my partner sick with something I dont even understand.  Anyhow, I wanted to share with you the prescription that my dr give me.  Are you ready... diaper rash cream.  Penatin.  It has brought me so much relief and I hope it helps some of you.  Good luck everyone.  Stay healthy and confident.  You/we are not alone.
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sounds like an itchy vulva is a common symptom for various conditions. This is what worked for me. I am in general great health and had no other symptoms except the intense itch.  my GYN diagnosed it as a fungal infection and prescribed Nystatin and Triamcinolone Acetonide Cream.  it worked instantaneuously and keeps the problem at bay.  it is a reoccurring condition - possibly because of hormonel or seasonal changes but the cream has saved me.
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After nearly 8 years of waking up in the night to scratch myself raw, and wondering what is wrong, I finally went looking online for answers. I found this site tonight and I'm SICKENED. I just read through 2 years of postings from women suffering as I do, and none of us have found a doctor that can tell us what this is and offer a cure. That's crazy! Why not? What year is this? Are we in the dark ages, Doctor?!?!  
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I can't find a definitive answer anywhere. I've been constantly misdiagnosed. So let me share with you what I have learned about my own labia burn/itch:

It's not a yeast or a fungus or a cancer or an STD. It's not contagious. Medications don't work. Ointments will give some relief but there's no cure. It certainly seems to be dermatitis and it's chronic.

For me, it seems to be an allergic reaction to my own body secretions: blood, sweat, and urine, or even some combination of those. Blood is the main culprit in my case. I MUST wear tampons, I can't wear pads because the residual blood touching my labia will send me scratching like a flea-bitten dog. But I tend to spot about 10 days before my period, and that littlest bit of blood will cause another episode if I don't catch it and clean myself right away. Perhaps it's when the blood is combined with a little urine, or maybe a little sweat. But I've also had outbreaks when no blood was present, but when perhaps I didn't dry well enough after urinating. And hot weather and sweat will bring it on. I wash myself twice a day (which can be burdensome) and try to keep it dry, but then I read that you're supposed to keep it moist. I found something tonight that suggests washing every time you pee (that's a lot of washing!). I'm reposting the tips I found so that you can try them, also. I do almost everything on the list, but I'm going to work harder now to ensure that my labia stays free of any residual blood, urine, or sweat. I'm also curious if hormones mess up the chemicals in the urine/blood/sweat during certain times of my cycle and that's what my labia is reacting to? I wish I had real answers. I wish I had a cure for us all.

Try these tips:

AVOID IRRITANTS - common irritants include soaps, bubble baths, bath oils and douches. Choose soft toilet paper and pat dry (rather than wipe) after urinating.

WASH REGULARLY - perspiration, vaginal secretions, urine and semen easily irritate the vulva. Bathe every day, using sorbolene cream instead of soap, and pat dry with a soft towel. Avoid using talcum powder. It may help to bathe the vulva after every urination.

USE TAMPONS - sanitary pads and menstrual blood can irritate the vulva. Consider switching to tampons.

AVOID DRYNESS - moisturise the skin regularly with sorbolene or other non-perfumed water-based cream. Use lubricants such as KY jelly when having sex.

DRESS APPROPRIATELY - avoid tight clothing, pantyhose and synthetic underwear.

USE COOL COMPRESSES - a cool compress held against the vulva can soothe burning and itching.
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I feel a combination of pure relief, disgust and comfort after reading all these posts. I have been living with this absolutely HORRIBLE itch on my outer labia (and sometimes between my breasts in small patches) for more than 7 years. It started during my first pregnancy and never went away. I, too, have scratched myself raw until I'm bleeding and chunks of skin are gone. It's so painful and the itching is unbearable. I, too, have been to many OBGYNs and two dermatologists. I have also been prescribed Clobetasol and Triamcinolone and tried every freaking anti-itch cream out there. I also have a Thyroid condition, so I'm thinking that they are definitely connected. In addition, the condition severely worsens about a week before I get my period and then dies down when my period ends, so there's a hormonal connection afoot too.

About two years ago, a dermatologist looked closely at the skin and said that the itch was so bad, in part, because I was constantly scratching it--creating a bit of a catch 22. He gave me cortisone shots in both outer labia in an effort to stop the itching long enough to get me to stop scratching. As crazy as it sounds, I just used extra thick Vaseline moisturizing lotion, not petroleum jelly, and in about a week the itching was gone. I practically cried with joy.

But, as it always does, it came back again one day when I least expected. I lived with it for a while, but it's beginning to get so bad again that I'm considering another visit to the dermatologist for more shots. Believe me, nobody likes to have needles stabbed into their labia, but it totally worked to stop the itching long enough to treat the skin without scratching it. Sigh. Oh, how I wish there were a cure for this for all of us. But, at least now I know I'm not alone in this horror. Thanks to everyone for being so open and honest.
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I just found this thread today and have read every single post and I really don't know what to say. I have only been dealing with "THE ITCH" for a couple of weeks but I find it interesting because I'm pregnant. I did see a few posts where some women mentioned they started having itching problems while they were pregnant. I am 28 and this is my third pregnancy and I've never had this problem before. I was hoping it is just due to the spike in hormones from the pregnancy and maybe it will go away once I have the baby, but now I'm wondering if I should actually mention it to my doctor. I'm perfectly healthy otherwise. Don't have any kind of medical issues/problems. So far it hasn't been too bad. It's uncomfortable as hell, but I have just fought myself not to scratch down there. Like so many others, the itch is the only symptom. My skin isn't red, dry, flaky or any of that but it definitely seems more dominant on my right side. It's still itchy on the left side but not as much. It does stun me that no doctor has ever taken a closer look at this and tried to get down to the bottom of it. Something has go to give. There are way too many of us suffering out there with this ridiculous problem.
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OH my GOD! I stumbled onto the computer  this morning during a 4:30 am ITCH attack. I thought I would NEVER find anything like this. I am sad to see so many other women have these same symptoms, and I find myself totally terrified. I fear that I may never have a normal sex life again. I feel disfigured and disgusting. Nothing like this has ever happened to me in my life! My ordeal started about a year ago. At first, it was just an occasional tingling itch. I scratched, put some powder on and went about my day. As the summer wore on, during the night, I began to have intense horrific bouts of itching that would leave me screaming and crying. I went to an urgent care provider who didnt even LOOK at my vaginal area, and they "diagnosed" me with a yeast infection. so I went home with some diflucan, and for some weeks it went away. Then in about August, it came back with a vengeance. I began to have severe itching with large bumps all over my labia. I would have to sit in a tub of warm water just to urinate. I didnt know what was wrong with me, and again I went to the doctor, to be given a suppository yeast medication (Metrogel), and a prescription for Acyclovir "just in case it is herpes". HERPES!!! I had been with ONE person in the last 3 1/2 years. I found this totally devastating. So they did a culture from one of the sores, and it came back negative, along with a full STD screening for all major std's. All negative. They told me that the the Acyclovir should help, ( which it did for about 2 days) and the bumps went away, but the itch has remained. I had a few months rest, but around December it came back. I have seen my gyno and I am on a three month long waiting list to see a dermo. My gynecologist told me it was dry, and that I should use lotion, I wanted to slap him! I have since then visited my MALE general practitioner, and he told me he would once again check the STD status (negative) gave me diflucan (again), and told me to consult derm. WHAT THE FREAK IS GOING ON???!!! I am scared to death that this horribly disfiguring ugly itch is here to stay. I have found relief in loads of vagisil ( which has now chemically burned my thighs), and recently soaking washcloths in black tea that is warm and applying it to my labia and thighs. i also came across a bottle of hospital strength "dermal wound cleanser" to wash with since soap sends me into a dimension of itchiness I thought i would never know. I am so sorry that all of you have this. It has become very debilitating for me ( i never EVER sleep through the night, and I have two children) and I have missed work and social events because I am too scared to itch. As for any kind of sexual life, I am just resigned to the fact right now that I cannot go there. My boyfriend of 4 years and I have parted ways, and I think it had something to do with him. Good Luck and thank you for having this post. I am very scared and sad. I am going to demand a biopsy to see what the Hell this is.  
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I was just wondering if maybe we could all start asking each other questions to maybe find some similarities so we could try and find whats causing this. There's got to be something common among all of us. I'm perfectly healthy other than this. My gyno. is no help, like everyone elses here! The only meds I put in my body is ortho tri and occassionaly ibuprofen. I know this isn't an allergic reaction to anything I use or wear, because everything I put on my body is dye free, perfume free. Does anyone else have any ideas? The one and only thing that is working for me is Benedryl Max. strenght anti-itch gel, and I've tried everything!!!!!! So if cortizone creams, etc., etc, don't work for you either, try the benedryl, it's been the best.  The pills just made me too drowsie all day. Well, good luck to everyone, and lets find a cause and cure for this aweful thing we're all suffering with
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I came to this website because I was having the same problem for about 6 months. The answer is amitriptyline and I will tell you why.  I have damage of the pudendal nerve which is on the left side of a woman's pelvic area. You can get it from a bicycle accident, endometriosis , from an operation in that area, etc.  It is actually a nerve bundle and it serves all the organs of your pelvic area.  Every once in a while I try to go off my  medication just to give my body a rest.  This last time I went without if for a very long time, 6 months and about 3 months into it I got the itching.  I do believe the white skin, the look of it the bumps and even maybe the diagnosis of Lichen sclerosis is due simply to the itching.  Lets face it the skin down there is very sensitive and itching it a lot could cause the skin to damage and react, even with bacteria.  Well I started up the amitriptyline and low and behold the itching went away within a week. Thinking I was on to something I stopped taking it again, the itching came back.  I took it again and about 1 week later the itching stopped.  Amitriptyline is an antidepressant but in a small dosage it helps with nerve damage and pain.  I take 100 mgs a day.  I don't have much faith in docs figuring things out but if you look at it, itching is caused by nerve endings, and the skin irritation is the results not the cause.  So it doesn't surprise me that docs treat the result not the cause.  Hope this helps.
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Hi there,
It's been said many times, but I thought I was alone! I've had this chronic vulvar itching now for going on 4 years.  It started in the Fall of 2004, out of nowhere, I also thought it was a yeast infection at first.  Have been working with my OB/GYN to figure out a solution, but not the cause...she seems resigned to believe it has to do with PH balance and stress.  I do have mild eczema caused by stress or hot, dry weather...but it is very mild and only occurs in certain spots like arms or neck and only when one of those 2 conditions occur.  So, I've been treating the vulvar itching with a combination of Aquafor (from the Eucerin product line) and a Rx cream called Zonalon.  The combination works to soothe and calm the itch, but nothing takes it away.  Finally, 3 mos ago the itching stopped as quickly as it had begun.  From one day to the next it went away and I thought it was over!  Three whole months of itch-free bliss, I thought I'd been delivered!  Then, 3 1/2 weeks ago it started back up...again, out of the blue.  I thought "nothing is different"  "I haven't changed anything to make this stop and start again!"  So, I retraced my steps...there were two new things...1-when it stopped I had just replaced my decrepit, 10+-yr old mattress with a brand new one, 2-when it stopped I had also started a New Year's workout plan which included taking the weight loss supplement Alli.  At first I thought maybe my old mattress was sooo old and gross that it contained some allergens that had been causing the itch all along.  Then, when it returned I ruled the mattress out as a culprit.  So now all I have is the Alli to go on, b/c about 3-4 weeks before the itch reemerged I had stopped taking the Alli...I had begun training for a 5k Run and decided to see how much weight I would lose with just the running and minus the Alli.  So, my next steps are as follows: I have been back on the Alli for about a week now, to see if that had anything to do with it?  And, now that I have read every post and jotted down copious notes on those that match my symptoms most closely, I'll be back at my OB/GYN's office to see what she thinks of some of these ideas.  Thanks to all who have posted here....this has been so helpful and I don't feel so alone now.  I'll have to stop looking at strangers on the street and envying them for being "normal" anymore, they may be some of you and we're all in this together.  I'll report back on my Alli experiment and anything else I find.  Best of luck to you all!
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I have to concur here with the sense of relief that I've finally found somewhere there are other people like me! It has calmed me down greatly, not least because having read what others have been suffering here I am managing to put my own problem in perspective. I have once or twice had itching intense enough that I had to try to do it surreptitiously in public but it's never been persistent enough to wake me in the night, thank god!

I think the worst part is the emotional trauma that goes with this. I have been diagnosed with dermatitis, although to be honest I feel that's a slightly woolly diagnosis. I came off the Trimovate I was prescribed, and this past week it's gotten scary, as in thickened patches where there are more little bumps closer together.

I've learned to control the scratch impulse - lucky for me, I *can* - and without it what I suffer is bearable, so long as the skin is moisturised. I still don't feel sexy when being a reasonably young woman I need KY Jelly to be able to have sex (and often have pain anyway) and I certainly don't feel sexy when my vulvar skin is shedding flakes all over the place which, it being damp and wet down there, turn into whitish sodden lumps. Mm, attractive.

I've had an itch for 8 years now, since I was 16. It has steadily worsened over time. Over and over I was diagnosed with thrush, used every treatment under the sun maybe, as the eternal answer. Got an itch? It's thrush. What, you came off thrush medication two days ago? Oh, it's still thrush. Got to be, that's what a vulvar itch is. The problem was I believed them, because I had relief from the symptoms whilst using various creams. I now know better. The creams were acting as moisturisers due to oil content, and whilst I got a thrush infection on occasion, it wasn't just thrush, as I finally, finally proved by insisting on a swab the day after a long course of thrush treatment. No thrush.

I was actually treated pretty decently by GYN, prescribed Trimovate etc as a 'stop-gap' measure but I was refused a biopsy on the basis that there was 'nothing there'. Unfortunately I went during a low flare-up phase and despite me insisting the skin change was still there, I could feel it, the doctor refused. I should have insisted harder.

I got transferred to the dermatology department, where I was seen by some locum idiot who barely looked before saying 'eczema' and then prescribing me Dermovate, which was actually the worse cream I'd ever tried due to the fact it was more thick-and-coating and less oily-and-moisturising than most other creams I'd tried. I'm now thinking I might have lichen proper rather than just a bit of a problem.

Whilst I have coping mechanisms like everyone else on here, I am sick to death that no one seems to have worked out an underlying, treatable cause. Whilst reading these posts I have checked out other peoples symptoms. I feel so relieved I am not the only person who is starting to get the feeling they are allergic to their own body fluids, I am certainly allergic to my own menstrual fluid! Also interesting to hear about this nerve, imonit, because I do have endo (I had to fight every step of the way to get it investigated and was told, by a reasonably young woman doctor no less, that 'every woman gets cramps' and to 'try alternative therapy'. No -  there are cramps, such as the kind that maybe make you cranky with pain, mayve even curl up - and there is endo, which is the kind of pain that a skilled torturer would have trouble creating.)

I think overall most of my wish, with every post I read, is a heartfelt wish that the emotional pain caused by this for each and every woman here could be eased by a better acceptance of and interest in women's health issues. When doctors are still embarrassed to even look at the area (and refer to all issues as 'vaginal', ignoring the vulva entirely) it's really a very poor look out.

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WOW!  I cannot tell you how helpful it has been to find this site!  I have been suffering with the same interminable itch as everyone else here for roughly 15 years (since about age 15 or 16 and I will be 30 this year).  I too have been to doctors and specialists who have all given me the "Wear cotton underwear" speech, shrugged their shoulders, and that was that.  I have FINALLY reached the point where I have decided enough is enough and I am simply NOT going to let this drop until I find a solution.  I have a new gyno now and am hoping and praying that he will take me seriously and help me sort this out.  I'm currently pregnant with my first child, so at least I will have regular doctor visits to discuss with him and try solutions, but I am worried that solutions available to me will be limited due to pregnancy.  Thanks to all who have shared their stories.  I made a list of notes and possible ideas to take to my next appointment and hopefully get the ball rolling.  I will write back with any updates and/or solutions I find.  If nothing else, it's helpful to know I'm not alone and not crazy!
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Hi Again,
Just a quick update.  I went to my OB/GYN this past Friday (today is Sunday) and filled her in on my latest with "the itch"...also went over all the possible remedies and diagnoses from this forum.  Although she doesn't feel my case is as severe as many of the ones listed here, she did give me a new Rx for a pill to help me sleep and knock me out of my itch-scratch-itch cycle.  The pill is Adorax...aka Hydroxyzine HCL...I'm taking one 25 mg tablet at night about 2 hrs before bedtime.  I've slept through the larger part of the night for 2 nights now and the intensity of the itching has died down significantly, even since Friday, which was a particularly intense-itch day.  I mentioned my Alli theory to her (see above post 5/12/08) and she said it's worth a shot, so I'm sticking with it.  Hope this will be helpful to some of you...let's keep each other posted on our successes...Take Care!
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My update.
UGH. The ITCH is still very much a part of my life. My skin has just recently begun to slough off on the inner parts of my thighs and labia. I am now burning through a tube of vagisil max strength about every 4 days. I have recently found a lotion that helps me in the morning it is called sarna sensitive for itchy dry skin. Very soothing for a while. I also came across a lotion that is also a mild cleanser called Balneol. You can find that one in the over the counter area of your doctor's pharmacy. That one is very soothing after a long itch session, and it does not burn or feel greasy at all. I also am beginning to believe that somehow the itch is nerve related, emotion related, and hormone related. My theories go like this:
Nerve damage makes sense to me. I had almost totally forgotten about the bout of endometriosis I had been diagnosed with after the birth of my second daughter. I had been gravely ill and was pumped with loads of very potent antibiotics. So this kind of damage internally may have something to do with it. I am going to see about the amitryptiline theory.
Secondly, I think it is Emotion related. I seem to have more intense bouts of itchiness during times of intense emotion. When I am angry, sad, nervous, or stressed out, it seems that it makes it worse. Going back to hey, maybe an antidepressant of some sort would mellow me out.
And lastly, I noticed that things calm down considerably right before and during my period. But about the week before and immediately following my period ( during the times when hormones surge *ding! - things get all jacked!) So. again, I am going to have to see whats up with that. I may try to get back on my birth control just to see whats up with that. I am also beginning to believe it could be a thyroid thing. My mom, my grandma, and my younger sister have all been diagnosed, but my "doctor" seems to think i am "normal". I was also tested for diabetes, since I was told that diabetics experience frequent skin issues. Negative.
Also, I had two IUD's placed which my body rejected both times, once in December and then again in January. They just fell out! Crazy.
All I know is that this is NOT 1) a goddamned yeast infection. 2) herpes 3) allergies. IT SUCKS and I hate it.
I feel like a mutant. I wish it would go away. Thats all for now. My dermo appt is set for June 4th, so wish me luck.
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Hey ya know, after my allergic reaction to the Acylovir that was erroneously prescribed to me last year, the hydroxizine was the BOMB! I am going to try and get back on that, because I totally slept good when i had that stuff. I am glad you have it. It really REALLY helps.
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I too have tried to come up with a remedy for this most personal and annoying problem.  I've blamed it on reaction to antibiotics, but it was still there, after I stopped taking the antibiotics.  I've blamed it on nerves or anger, because it seems worse when I'm nervous or angry.  It started all the way back in 1984. The itching lasted for about a year.  My husband was having affairs with other women (5 in 8 months), so I thought he had given me some sort of STD.  I was too ashamed to go to the doctor.  I had worn out spots on my nightgown and robe from scratching so much.  I even did it in my sleep.  I constantly kept my doors and shades closed, for fear that a neighbor or someone would see me scratching or rubbing myself.  I was in pure agony.  After my divorce, I moved to another state.  I had a different lifestyle, a different attitude, and even though I still had plenty of stress in my life, I didn't have the itching and burning anymore.  I thought I was all done with the problem.  Since then, I've had shot periods of uncontrolable itching on several occasions, usually lasting several weeks.
I don't know if I was eating something that I had an allergic reaction to.  Or if there's something in the water.  Or I'm using the wrong kind of soap.  Or what it is.  I do seem more prone to having it occur when I'm physically bad off.  This last time was after I had a kidney infection.  About three weeks after I had finished taking my antibiotics for the kidney infection, it started again. That was six weeks ago, and I'm just now starting to get back to normal.  One of the only things that's seems to help me is to fill a hot water bottle with crushed ice and keep it between my legs.  I am retired, and my kids are all grown and married, so I have a fair amount of privacy at home.  I wear long dresses or skirts, and go without wearing any underwear at all.  My husband and I (he's 61, I'm 58) have our own bedrooms, so sleeping with a bag of ice between my legs doesn't bother him at all.  He just feels sorry for me.  I also spend my evenings watching TV, reclined with a ziplock sandwich bag, wrapped in a washcloth, and filled with ice, in between my legs.  It doesn't make it go away, but it does seem to make it a little bit more tolerable.  I hope I've helped someone with my suggestion.  I, too, was so glad to find this forum.  I pray that everyone who reads this will get better, soon!
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My itch ..is painful so painful i cant sleep...i have broken my skin and it hurts sooo bad....but the owrst part is the intensity of the itch...it drives me insane.... i can be out at a restraunt or a friends house..a.nd i have to go to the bathroom just to scratch myself!!
its awful
i have tried every cream every lotion ever cleanser! why cant we find a cure for this ...sex sucks because of this!!
HELP SOME DOCTOR SOMEWHERE!
I NEED RELIEF!!
I WOULD RATHER BE SHOT IN THE FOOT THAN HAVE THIS..B/C THE FOOT WILL HEAL AND THIS WONT!! 7 YEARS I HAVE SUFFERED FROM THIS 7 YEARS OF MY LIFE!!
NO STD
NO SEX EXCEPT MY HUSBAND OF 20 YEARS!
I CANT IMAGINE GOING THROUGH THE REST OF MY LIFE WITH THIS!!
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Update:

So on my last OB/GYN appointment, I discussed several possibilities of what I thought could be the source of the problem (many of which I got from other posts, so thanks to all!).  The major complication I have is that I'm pregnant so many tests/treatments can't be done right now.  He asked me if I've EVER found anything that works (been suffering with this for about 15 years... not to scare anyone), and the only thing that ever has worked was Clobetasol, a steroid cream, which I think I saw in a few other posts here as well.  I still had almost a full tube of it from the last time it was prescribed for me.  I thought it had stopped working, that I built up a tolerance to it or something.  He said give it a try again and see what happens.  I did and my itch is completely gone!  It only took about 2 days of using the ointment twice a day, as prescribed, to see a NOTICEABLE decline in the itchiness, and after about a week, it was gone completely.  I dropped down to using it once a day for about 5 days and haven't used it at all for about a week and I feel totally normal.  My skin has healed and I can sit and sleep comfortably for the first time in I can't remember when.  He said that this ointment is usually prescribed for Lichen Sclerosis, which he said my skin didn't look like Lichen Sclerosis, but he said maybe I had it in early stages (although I can't imagine that's true after 15 YEARS, but whatever).  I'm just happy to have found something that works!  I guess when I thought it stopped working, I just didn't use it enough to keep the symptoms under control.  I told him that ultimately I would like a definitive diagnosis and know WHY the itch is there.  He agreed but said in the meantime, we needed to get the symptoms under control.  I'm to the point now that if I never find out WHY, I think I'm ok with that, as long as I don't have to suffer anymore.  It's so nice to feel NORMAL again!

To everyone who is still struggling, don't give up!  I encourage everyone to read all the posts on here, do your own research online (posts on here gave me ideas to read up on further) and push your doctor to keep trying until you find something that works for you.  I truly know the pain, discomfort, and frustration you are feeling!   Hang in there and keep at it, you'll find a "cure" eventually that works for you!  I'm personally a big fan of the Clobetasol ointment, but might not work for all.  Run it by your doctor and see what they say.  Good luck!
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This forum had been quiet for a while, so I stopped coming to view the posts.  I arrived tonight, and I'm not sure whether to be glad or sad to see so many new posts to read.

I seem to be having some respite at the moment, but have just been through a really bad patch.  The itching was unbearable, though I do seem to somehow stop myself scratching thankfully. I also had the bumps, and at one stage they were like blisters.

After seeing a post above, coincidentally I've stopped the itch about 10 days after I sent for Penatene cream from Germany.  It's basically almost pure lanolin, and used generally for diaper/nappy rash.  But we used it on my father when he had a cholostomy many years ago before he died, when his wound was horrifically red, angry and infected.  It worked for him and on my children's nappy rash, so we had a look on eBay, and found a seller in Germany (where it is produced) and ordered 5 cans!

From one day to the next, about 10 days after starting to use it, I went from intense itch, to intense relief.  Unbelievable relief.  I also discovered that you can buy canesten 2% over the counter instead of the normal 1%. I used that over the entire vulval area, and that was helping as well.  But the Penatene was the one that has worked for me.

Unfortunately, I don't think that's the end of it, I think this is simply a respite.  I haven't yet been to the doctor because I just feel so horribly dirty and "diseased" when this is in full flow (so to speak), but the sensible part of the brain tells me that that's exactly when I should go.
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Thank you so much! I am 28 and have been suffering intense itching for about 6 years. At first I thought it was an STD and it wasn't, I do shave and I stopped but that wasn't the problem either, no vaginal infections and I thought I was gonna have to live like this forever..I haven't even slept with anyone in over 5 years because I was embarrassed..But after reading this I am so happy I'm not the only one with this problem and will be making an appointment with dermatologist...I'm so happy I landed on this site! thank you so much!
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I have had the symptoms as you have all described above for 18 months. Was treated at first for Thrush, then Lichen , the gynae referred me to a Dermatologist stating that it looked more like excema.
I went today and the Dermatologist took a Biopsy of my vulva and my nipple ( which has broken out in excema type dryness) Now I am really worried. He said he just wanted to eliminate "bad" cell changes.
I have read that lots of you have had Biopsies, .... Why is that such a scary word. By the way I am 54 and post menopausal and currently on Thyroxine 125 mg
x
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someday we will know what this is. and maybe there will even be a commercial about it. :0) that is what keeps me going through all of this. okay, so i am 25 and have had this itch ever since i hit puberty. so, i guess that makes it 12ish years i have had the itch.
i think it has gotten progressively worse over the years, in fact i am sure it has. i also suffer more just before my period, while exercising/sweating, when i am stressed, and especially during the nighttime. i have always been very very self conscious about it (it has been a prime factor in me never being intimate with anyone), and i feel relieved to find this forum because i now know that i do not suffer alone.
i have tried every steroid topical known to man, and none have brought me relief for more than a few weeks. my vulva will just not back down to a steroid cream, i guess. but topical-wise, i have found relief from aveeno anti-itch concentrated lotion (with calamine and pramoxine, from most stores). i have also tried elidel cream, which didn't work too well for me, as well as protopic (tacrolimus ointment) which i have yet to decide if it is working or if it is my imagination.
my first bout of relief from oral meds came from elavil (amitriptyline) taken as a pill with dinner or before bed. with that, my gynecologist and dermatologist recommended taking an allergy medication (i tried loratadine, then zyrtec) in the morning to get me through the day itch-free. elavil didn't really last, but it did help for a bit. the allergy meds never really did anything for me.
my next bout of relief has been from doxepin (another antidepressant) taken as capsules with dinner or before bed. this seems to help me relatively well as far as sleeping itch-free goes. i don't find myself waking up in the middle of the night or in the morning scratching furiously anymore. so maybe there is something to this. but it is certainly not a cure because i still itch several times a day (just not nearly as badly).
we all must share something, but it is so hard to determine what it is. i think it is nerve or hormone related. it just has to be. on a related sidenote, i had a drastic increase in itching about a month ago when i started using  a nuvaring. i have not been on birth control in years, and a couple of weeks after i started the ring, i found myself itching uncontrollably again. about two-three weeks after i removed the ring, i went back to my normal amount of itching while on doxepin (not very much). the only other factor that could have sent me into this itch craze  is that i was pretty severely depressed for a few weeks. so, i don't know. i just thought i would tell that story and see if anyone thought anything about it.
i am seeing another dermatologist in a couple of weeks to see if she has any new insights, otherwise i think i will return to the gynecologist  i saw over a year ago. when i did have to funds to see him, he had mentioned something about possible botox injections if nothing seemed to work. i also think i will try and obtain a biopsy just to ensure it is nothing that could be detected from that. i really hope we/someone can solve this mystery. it would be a godsend to us all. thank you again for sharing your stories.
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in the interest of posterity, i figure i should post what has worked for me of late.  pretty simple routine, actually.  soaking bath each morning with 2+cups baking soda.  the bath is pretty hot because i want to sweat and detox.  i figure the baking soda also helps re-balance my ph.  i use no products, no soap, nada.  just soak with the water and swish/whatnot.  after bath, i use a hair dryer to get completely dry.  then i either get dressed in cotton unders, or if i feel like i need it i use some form of oil to act as a barrier.  jojoba is what i use mostly, and if i need some extra help i use a garlic and teatree oil (soak garlic in olive oil for a day or two+) and add some teatree oil  (not too strong, or it will burn).  intimacy seems to change the balance and fuel problems.  the last couple times i've had great success using little apple cider vinegar in water and squirting it internally with a peri bottle.  this has provided just about complete relief.  

my theories:  many of you have mentioned onset with puberty.  many of you have mentioned onset 10 days prior to mense.  some have thyroid issues.  some have mentioneed onset with pregnancy or worsening.  some have diabetes (insulin issues.)  i absolutely hear stress relation (adrenaline, cortiso, etc.)  i'm seeing hormones hormones hormones.  any hormonal imbalance affects all of your hormones as it's an intricate system.  get one outta whack, and the yeast can exacerbate.  get another out of balance and the skin becomes too thin and is more susceptible to irritation/tearing.  get another outta whack and the skin gets too thick . . . have too much sugar, and insulin is off balance, maybe the yeast grows a bit and exacerbates an already underlying exema (eczema)/psoriasis issue.  i just read an article in my doc's office about vulvar issues, covering several of the things we've all mentioned here.  one thing that struck me was the hormones from pregnancy and nursing over time can thin the skin and cause some of these issues.  this correlated in my brain with the 10 pre-mense as well, since that is when progesterone levels start taking over in a cycle.  my thought is that it's either a lack of progesterone (since the estrogen from the first phase of the cycle is gone, then maybe there's nothing to take it's place and balance?)  or a progesterone sensitivity?  

my dr recommended a compounded ointment including some estrogen, testosterone, and a steroid that would be used twice a day for a week and then once a day for another week.  i think this could be helpful to get things under control, but then my system would still have to be supported or i imagine it will continue to show signs of duress/imbalance.

all this to say, that there are correlations in lots of different areas, and perhaps it all comes back to supporting our systems.  some of us may benefit from lowering sugar and insulin levels to balance our adrenals and hormones.  some of us may need to detox, since the skin is a primary way of getting rid of toxins in the body.  some of us may need to get more rest and balance our adrenaline and cortisol levels.  some of us probably need to do a good candida cleanse - not because it's necessarily yeast, but because it's undermining our system elsewhere and causing imbalance.  some of us may actually be feeding yeast with food or excess sugar in our urine.  maybe all of the above.  

i hope this helps some.  if any of it's helpful and gives you some ideas, awesome, that's why i took the time.  if not, toss it out, and keep plugging away at your journey of discernment.  i pray the Lord unlocks His mysteries to us all and gives us wisdom.
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I have had an itchy INNER labia (is everyone's just on the outer?) which is more severe on my right side although still occurs on my left side too. I have had it for 5 years now and am going crazy. It started just after i slept with my first boyfriend so i jsut thought it was thrush and had 3 tests which came out negative. I then went to a GUM clinic complaining of itching and had STD tests which also came back negative. The nurse gave me hydrocortison ointment which seemed to sort it out as it only happened at night.

I have been with my current boyfriend for 4.5 years and had an STD test again (even though we use condoms) and it was clear and yet another thrush test- negative.

However after going on the contraceptive injection i developed vulval vestibulitis which means my vulva is sore due to an underactive vestibule gland. For this I use LIDOCANE ointment 5% which numbs the area and occasionally this does help with the itching for those who don't achieve results from hydrocortisone cream and its is ok for daily application.

Im now into my 5th year of itching and currently in the worst period ever where i feel like going at myself with scizzors :( its worse at night but still is bad during the day.

Hydrocortisone cream/ ointment now just makes the itching worse so I just overuse my lidocaine which helps but not for long. Ice cubes, although painful provide the best relief and relief only comes when im on my period.

Weirdly enough the itching actually gets better when i go on holiday even when its really hot. I have been to 2 gyno's re: my vestibulitis and even then they said my vulva looked normal. that was 2.5 years ago and now im living with both the itching and the vetsibulitis and have lost faith of ever having a normal vulva.

Thanks for everyone's tips- do try the lidocaine if needs be, its available over the counter. Just wondered if anybody had unrelated vulva vestibulitis as well as the itching?

Here's to a cure... :) (sorry for the essay- just so down).
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PS: it started when I was 17, im now 22.
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I too came upon this site a little over 2 months ago through googling, and read through every posting from 2 yrs ago to the present.I wanted to cry, because I could not believe that this many women had gone through such agony for so long, with no definitive cures to be found. For the record I am 55 years old, and out of the blue I developed this uncontrollable vulva itch that I suffered through for a month and thought I was going to lose my mind, from all of the scratching and bleeding and the sheer agony of it all. Though I took copious notes from some of the things you all had tried, (and there were many), none of them seemed to last long. At my age, the thought of suffering with this for any amount of years was too much, so off to the doctor I went. I was seen by my doctor's assistant, and the fist thing she said was it sounded like a menopausal itch that women sometimes experienced going through menopause. She prescribed a cream called Nystatin/Triamcinolone, and lo and behold, within two days the itch was GONE. Just to be sure, I continued to take it for a full week and after 2 weeks off of it, it has not come back in any form. I know that all of you are not menopausal like myself, but since this is not just a cream for menopausal women, (it's an antifungal and steroid combination), I would implore you to ask your doctor if it is ok for you to try. I sympathize with each of you, and wish you all the best, and if my itching comes back, I will let you know that too.
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I have spent today reading these amazing journeys everyone has made. Needless to say I have the same sort of issues going on with my body. Mine started with the worst yeast infection known to woman, it spread all over my vulva, rectum, inner thighs all the way to my knees. I was sleeping with a frozen water bottle between my legs for heaven's sake. My ob/gyne said it was a yeast infection and gave and triple dose of diflucan to use. Didn't work. Topical creams prescribed didn't work and my misery became completely unbearable. My dermatologist did a biopsy and an allergy test. Turns out I have an allergy to "mercapto mix" which is a chemical mix of the ingredients in lycra and spandex.

Ok so I can no longer wear any underwear that has elastic in it, at least no elastic around my vulva and groin. Needless to say this is no easy feat as most all women's underwear contains elastic of some sort in it. I have had my best results from wearing mens boxers and long leg jockey underwear. Takes a little getting used to but it has certainly helped to some extent.

The problem is while it finally cleared up the horrid rash going on, I still have itching daily and especially at night as so many mention here. Worse on the right side, worse about a week before when I should have a period, etc. And as for period I haven't had one in 2 years but my ob/gyn says I am NOT menepausal according to hormone tests. My thyroid has been a wreck for just about the same period of time, so I feel my lack of period is connected to my thyroid chaos. My face breaks out, I get puffy and moody each month, crave chocloate and all that yadayada, just no actual period.

I will say this has been gradually getting worse, at the same time my levothyroxin (levothyroxine) has been gradually being increased by my endocrinologist. I have to wonder if there is a connection. I think I do believe it is hormone related somehow, and that somehow thyroid issues are also causing issue with hormone balances.

I just know it bites big time. I don't want sex, I don't want anything that might trigger itching. I will scratch until I am bloody sadly. It is a crazy feeling.

I am going to try some of the otc things here. I have changed soaps, laundry products, underwear and clothing (I threw out everything with lycra or spandex....which was dang near everything >< ). Oh and also, note that even jeans today for the most part have some spandex in them making stretch denim.....so mercapto mix is everywhere. =(

Anyway just a note I wanted to add, I have been seeing docs about this for a couple of years without much luck. But the skin patch tests for allergies did pick up the lycra/spandex connection and I do beleive it was contributing to the entire situation somewhat.

I will keep checking this site, I really believe doctors need to read this and see that this many people are not crazy something is going on without question.   ~K
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I am happy that I found this site, but at the same time, I'm angry that with all the medical advances in this world, we have yet to find a solution.  I have seemed to have this itch ever since I can remember.  I am 26 now, and it's still a continuing battle from day to day and from month to month.
I got my period young, when I was about 10.  I have never had regular periods, I get maybe 3 a year... I love that aspect, but of course I think I must have a hormone problem.  I think this hormone imbalance also causes my weight problem.
For me, the itch started out as a rash I think.  I remember having it mostly on my buttocks and the inside crease where the elastic of my panties would be.  I went to several doctors and dermatologists who insisted it must be a yeast infection.  I was given the standard yeast infection creams and ointments (which didn't work at all).  Of course, I continued to scratch the itch sometimes until I broke skin.  The pain felt better than the itch.  A few years ago, I was itching so bad that I made an emergency appointment with a gyno.  She did some blood tests and told me that it was a yeast infection.  She gave me diflucan and a cream.  I took the complete diflucan treatment, used the cream... it didn't help.  I'm a believer in using natural treatments as well, so I went to a naturalist.  He gave me a candida detox supplement that was homeopathic.  I took it.  It didn't help me either.
I can't remember when I started my recent routine of scratching in the shower until I break skin, then using products to deal with the pain.  It was working for awhile but then my itch turned into a burning itch that could not be soothed.  The burning itch is the worst on the inner labia.  It feels like just my skin touching skin causes irritation.  I've re-tried every over-the-counter thing I could think of.  I've used all the products on the feminine hygiene isle.  Wipes, creams, gels...  Then I went to Whole Foods looking for more natural products.  I found cotton wipes, but they stopped helping.  I went online and found an ointment of silver, beeswax, and other healing ingredients.  I tried it and it worked for awhile, but it stopped working.  I don't know how I've managed but I've tried to stop the scratching entirely.  I jump in the shower and wash my genital area with an eczema/psoriasis gentle cleanser then I jump out and towel dry.  It seems to help a little.  Right now I have no visible problems, no dry skin, no lesions/blisters, no thickened skin...  I am trying out natural pantyliners from Whole Foods.  Some days I will be completely fine and have no itch, but somehow the itch builds up.  After an itch free day, the next day I will have a small itch which is manageable, then it gets worse day by day until one day when I am so uncomfortable I give in and scratch until I'm raw.  Then the burning itch that I get after scratching makes me sob, curse, and rock back and forth till I'm exhausted and I think I'm losing my mind.  Then the next day the itch is gone and the cycle starts again.  I don't think I can take more of this burning itch :(  even if it means a few itch free days will follow!
This itch is consuming my thoughts constantly.  It seemed to me like I was the only one with this embarrassing problem.  Everyone around me that I see live "normal" blissful, itch-free lives and it was driving me nuts.  Finding this board has given me so much relief.  I can finally share my story with people who know what suffering I'm going through.  I am so hesitant to go to the doctor or another gyno.  I was wondering if anyone knew of a treatment that they use for chronic pain sufferers, where they deaden a few nerve endings or whatnot.  I was wondering if that was an option for chronic itch sufferers.  I'm so tired of living my life in dread of the next uncontrollable itch session.  I'm trying to drink only water (I did break down and have a caffeine free diet coke today), no caffeine, and eat less sugar.  Part of the reason I'm scared to go to the doctor is that I dread diabetes.  I don't think I have it yet, but I know I am in danger of getting it if I'm not careful.
I think that this problem has not been given enough research or attention because as women, we are too embarrassed to speak up publicly about this problem.  Doctors lump all the problems together as candida/yeast infection, fungus, or under the generic diagnosis of "vaginitis."  I really wish more research was being done.  :(
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My Dr said 4 out of 10 women have this affliction. He said it was caused by stress, he said it was chronic, he gave me a cream., blah, blah, blah. I do not have to go into detail about my itch just read everyone elses post. The thinning skin thing was worrying me so I searched the web... and I have found a new cream called SKINFIX. I highly recommend the BODY PASTE even though they have an Efflorescence Paste for "peri menopausal discomfort", I am 41. www.skinfix.ca. I can sleep now. $12 + shipping. I have to get off this computer now. The heat from my laptop is making my hooha ITCH!!!!!!!

I just want to know. Does the itching stop after menopause.
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Hello Ladies,

I am a man suffering from same thing only it's on the outside of my rectal sphincter. I believe it's caused by a combination of fungal and skin reaction to toilet paper or perhaps the bleaching agents left in the tp fibers. I had this condition for about 6 YEARS... The cure for me was the use of Viaderm KC religiously for 4 months as well as the following actions. I had concern the fungi had spores in my undergarments so I got rid of all older undergarments and replaced with new ones. Also when I wash my undergarments I use hot water and use bleach (purchase white undies). I also decided to stop using toilet paper PERIOD. Invest in a bidet or one of those fancy Asian computerized bidets. In all honesty I believe it's caused by toilet paper and being overzealous in it's use. I believe some agent left over from bleaching the paper causes skin irritation that leads to compromised skin that in tern opens up the door to fungi infections like "athletes foot" like fungi that are the secondary cause of the itch. Also soaking in a mineral salts bath helps was part of my treatment.  I wish the best to all you ladies.
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Hi Ladies,

I can't believe I also forgot about a fantastic anti itch product I also used with brilliant results. It's called Presley's Assuage Anal Anti-Itch spray. Below I'll outline my treatment regime that cured me.

1. Use Viaderm KC for 2 months. Apply after bathing/showering in morning and another application at night and don't miss a single application!
2. Replace all undergarments with new white garments (prevent reoccurring fungi caused by spores inside garment fibers)
3. Wash undergarments alone and use bleach (reason to use white undies)
4. Avoid fabric softeners PERIOD... specially the bounce sheets etc... READ they are bloody toxic.
5. STOP using toilet paper. I, in all honesty, believe this is the root vector that causes the condition. A lady could use a cotton handkerchief inside a ziplock bag.
6. Obtain one of those fancy Asian computerized bidets.
7. Soak in a mineral salts bath at least twice a week.
8. After 8 weeks of Viaderm KC use switch to Presley's Itch Remedy/Assuage Anal Anti-Itch Spray.

It is possible lto use Presley's Anti-Itch sprays at the same time as using Viaderm KC just make sure that after bathing apply the Presley spray first then wait two hours or so to apply the Viaderm KC. Also of note is not to use ANY SOAP what so ever on the infected area. Specially lady soaps that contain all kinda of crazy chemicals for smell etc. A good source for decent NATURAL soap is  Cal Ben Soap Company. Let this condition be a lesson to all that the chemicals in toilet paper (bleaching agents) and the chemicals in fabric softeners and chemicals in those fancy lady soaps are the root cause/vector in this condition. The fungi, lichen sclerosus and skin Psoriasis are SECONDARY infections/conditions due to what I stated above. I am not a doctor but I do know what cured me!!! Take heed!!!

Best of luck to all infected with these mucous membrane skin conditions... both women and the men that won't talk about their itchy *****!!! LOL
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Hallelujah!
Itching for a year.  No bumps or discharge.  
Seen OB/GYN, primary doctor, infectious disease doctor and of course dermatoligist.
Will review vulvar distropy.  
Hang in there ladies.  -- we're all in this together.
Peace
ohelene
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P.S.
My itch is on the left, center and right areas.
Also, it feels like shards of glass instead of bugs crawling.
Going to dermatologist Monday 1:45pm.
I will discuss with him a biopsy.
Anyone from Northern Cal?
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BIOPSY, BIOPSY, BIOPSY!!!!
I’ve been researching VIN Differentiated Type and posting (just posted my questions in this forum, so please answer if you've had this) for my daughter when I ran across this, read every post, and felt the need to raise a possibility for at least some of you for a biopsy/coloscopy and share what I’ve found out so far (just wanted to ditto what mlm 1980/others said).  

She has had severe itching for at least 5 years now and is now only 20 years old.  She’s tried all kinds of things including- cotton panties, different soaps, hypo-allergenic things, numbing creams and  creams for eczema (she has eczema other places; steroids, Eucerin), yeast infections, and Bacterial Vaginosis (our GYN says this is more common in women than Yeast Inf.- so don’t reach for yeast treatments first until you know).  While everything offered SOME temporary relief, and she had periods she thought it was subsiding, she has days she can hardly get to class/work.   She’s been back to the Dermo., and GYN’s many times and to a GYN Specialist twice; initial diagnosis: Vulvar Vestibulitis- Basically “Painful Vulvar” and was given Lidocaine to numb the area.  Just a word here of warning about the Steroid creams some of you are using (was also discussed with her Specialist); be sure you understand that Steroids, while they can make the skin feel better now, will thin the skin (anywhere on your body) and may make the condition worse in the long run.  She is currently in college, is sexually active (this started before sex), non-smoker, has had all negative PAP’s and STD testing (I’ll have her get the blood test now, thanks), and she recently completed the HPV Gardisil shots.  She just developed a few vulvar cysts under the skin (I found out these are fairly common), and the GYN biopsied one cyst because of her history (no other new symptoms but of course the itching).  

The Pathology came back and she was just diagnosed with VIN 2 which is a precancerous skin condition (there are levels1-3)- can move into Vulvar Cancer (which we’re hoping she doesn’t have- appointment coming up).   She has the Differentiated Type of VIN  (I’m no expert and there’s not much information out there on this, so I’m just sharing what I’ve found).  Differntiated VIN-not sure of a cause but it says this type is not HPV related (although with the Pathology she now has high-risk HPV, but it didn’t cause this apparently).  It’s only about 2-10% of all VIN and is extremely hard to diagnose as the skin usually stays smooth and the only symptoms are itching/burning and sometimes skin pigment changes (which she didn’t have).  Differentiated/Simplex VIN is generally found in much older women and sometimes adjacent to Vulvar Cancer areas (sounds so hard to diagnose they don’t find it many times except after they’ve found cancer in other areas so perhaps that’s why so few younger people are diagnosed- they may have had VIN for many, many years).  We think her VIN was only found because they were biopsying the cyst, which came back as an epidermal cyst (not a genital wart) and is benign and seems to be totally unrelated at this point.  The other type of VIN is “Usual/Classic” and it’s the type caused by HPV and displays as genital warts or a rash (just remember most of us have HPV in our systems by the time we’re adults).  The good news is that Vulvar Cancer develops slowly.  But a point for those of you with years of itching; it takes many years usually for VIN 2 to move to VIN 3 and then on average 10 years after that to develop into invasive Cancer, so just because you’ve had this itch for 10-20-more years doesn’t mean it’s not cancerous (if you think like me, I’d be thinking it wasn’t Cancer because I’d had it so long).  All her precancerous cells will need to be removed.

As you can see the VIN Differentiated can be present with no other symptoms than prolonged itching/burning (yes, other things can be causing these same symptoms, and you’ve mentioned many).  Get to your GYN and insist on a Biopsy or at least a Colopscopy (same scope they use for internal Cervix issues) of the area that concerns you.  They put on a vinegar solution (or other chem.) and any precancerous areas will display differently under the scope.  My daughter’s biopsy was simple and she had no stitches, just a little bleeding and as you’ve read above they can diagnose other conditions besides VIN/Cancer with the biopsy…isn’t it better to know.

Just don’t keep trying new creams until your sure of a diagnosis; as you already know, you’re treating the symptoms and not the cause.   *Just a side note for those discussing one side or the other- VIN and Vulvar Cancer can effect one/any/all areas of the vulva; one side, both sides, near the anus, clitoris, etc., so don’t assume it’s not something more serious if it’s just one side.
---Concerned Mom
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As if I hadn't said enough...just forgot to point out that both VIN and Vulvar Cancer are often (high correlation) found in conjuntion with a lot of the other conditions you've all mentioned above that also cause itching/skin changes, so just because you're sure it's one, make sure that's all it is.
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Ive had "THE ITCH" for about a year now but I think it started as one thing and morphed a bunch of times.

First off let me say that I'd been pretty much having a long hard sulk after me and my boyfriend broke up. Like it'd been a year and I'd not had sex of any kind with anyone. I'd been spending my time at the gym, so I naturally assumed my itch was related to spin class and treated it myself at home with OTC jock itch meds.

The only one that worked at all was the expensive atheletes foot gel, and even that I had to use 2x a day for 2x as long as the package says to.

I've learned to use a clipper... so the hair isn't too long (which is also itchy) so theres no irritation from shaving..

The itch didn't go away fully but the outward symptoms disappeared so I went to the Dr. who looked at my "5 o'clock shadow" and informed me I had "irritation of the skin due to shaving".

When I told her I didn't shave, she declared it folliculitis and gave me antibiotics. I begged her not to send me away with only antibiotics and described to her all the things you gals all have too.... it gets worse with sweat, blood, urine, discharge but I can't keep it too dry either cause powder doesn't help much for long ...

She gave me antibiotics and an antifungal cream, neither of which worked.
Then they gave me diflucan one and yeast infection cream to use on the area.

it went away and I started imagining my new love life hallelujah

then I met a lovely man and went out dancing with him and for coffee after. We talked till the wee hours in which I probably should have washed that sweat off right away but didn't and by the time I got home my right labia was swollen 2x its normal size and itched like crazy.

since nothing the drs tried worked I thought Id try antihistamines and (sorry if this is gross but..) I cut up a washcloth into small squares and kept one inbetween as I went about my day to keep the area dry. I've found switching them out for fresh ones all day relieved my condition over the course of about a week.

I'd love to tell you its a cure but its not.. but it does provide some relieve in a cheap no-drugs way. which is always nice.

I had some good weeks but it seems to come back w/PMS I think...  last month the itch spread up my belly which leads me to believe its eczema, which is how im treating it now.. with washcloths and eucerin calming cream and it seems to be working again.

Oh yeah and dipenhydramine cream - benedryl cream.. that seems to help when the itch is really unbearable for me.

Thanks to this thread i think i should go see a gyno and get tested for some stuff but I think its probably boring old eczema.
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Following up from recent post in August.
My dermatoligist told me to use a non steroid cream and antihistamine at night.
Its not cured.  Perhaps in a month.
Oy vey
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Hi every1!! so glad i just found where this was posted i was looking for skin forum or eczema forum lol!! I have had the itch for 6 months now and i just got to a dr!! i thought it was a herpes outbreak or a yeast infection it is neither!! The OB said (as soon as she saw my eczema on my legs) it was my eczema and that my immune system was stressed thats why it spread!! They cant help me though they tried to refer me to a dermatoligist but their clinic dr for that is quitting so now i have to go to the family dr in their office (yes have to dont have insurance they let me pay cash) i really hope he can help me!! i read some of the post and maybe i can suggest some of the meds and hopefully get some relief soon!! If any1 has useful info feel free to send a message!!
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hi and welcome to my world... can't believe there are so many of us... have had the itch for so long i can't think when it started...i know i have had at least 3 gyne's in the last 8 years and just since last year this new one (a woman) took any notice of the RIGHT sided labia mess... it did start as of last year on the left a little and more so now on left.  still not as bad as right.  just had my yearly check and she is doing cultures.  she gave me a cream last year that didn't help much so i decided it was yeast and started a cleanse and watched diet, help more but got worst when i stopped all of this.  everything mentioned of causes i have thought too.  I had a dr tell me along time ago for something else, to use 'process of elimination'  such as foods, detergents,ect.  and i agree where as these new doctors laugh.  i can't believe there is no dr out there that can diagnois this.  but this is something i have found out about them in the last few years concerning other problems i have had and that is they can not diagnois today.  i've debated on putting a big ad in the bigger newspaper saying "NEEDED ONE GOOD DOCTOR WHO LIKES A CHALLENGE " previous drs need not apply...i must say, reading some of these stories has given me a laugh tonight.  i know it's not funny but ....One of the last things i read here as a possible culprit is toilet paper and just early today while in the bathroom i looked at the paper and thought the same thing..yesterday after dr appointment looked online under labia itch couldn't find much, today i typed in 'eczema on labia' and found this site and sure glad i found it ...... i think if some drs would read all or some of these cases they might see there is something going on here.. maybe we would make Good Morning America news.. you know when specialists of this area are embrassed to talk about this with us it might take awhile.  i have found that when they don't know (and that's alot) then they become defensive and offended...you know, i can't believe that a dr or some dr's family member hasn't had a problem with this.  i will be on this site alot to see if anyone has found a cure....    any doctors out there that read these please help us all there are so many of us it is unbeliveable..  itchy crotch
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ATTENTION LADIES, ATTENTION LADIES--After posting on this site on  June 6, this year I am surprised that at least some of my fellow sisters in misery had not tried the cream that I had been prescribed by my doctor. It has now been about 4 months and the itch is relatively GONE!. If I even have the tiniest hint of an oncoming itch, I may dab just a very tiny amount of the cream on, but that has been very far and few between. Believe me, before visiting my doctor, I was at the point that I would have tried gunpowder, if someone had told me that it would have worked, but luckily I didn't have to go that far. I have had no ill effects from using the cream, though I only used it for just two days before I was relieved of my agony, so I implore you to just give it a mention to your doctors, to see what they say. It is called Nystatin/Triamcinolone--and it saved me from the most miserable itch I have ever had in life--and I'm happy.
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It was a relief to find this forum several weeks ago. I was suffering a lot with this itching and it was good to find that I wasn't alone. Well this week I went to a vulva disorders specialist and they found that I have Lichen Simplex Chronicus. A biopsy confirmed the diagnostic. I have been miserable the last 8 months and the specialist assured me that I'll be cured in one month. Basically he told me that I have to stop scratching, but that's almost impossible, so he gave me a pill for sleep so wont scratch at night.  I'm also using a steroid cream. He told me to buy new underwear and to only hand wash it with hot water (no detergents). I can't use soap down there and he told me to use unscented toilet paper or a bottle of water. He told me a lot of things to do and I have been 4 days in treatment and I'm already feeling a lot better. I really recommend to look for a specialist. OBs don't know that much about vulva disorders.
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I also had this problem for many years.  I was finally diagnosed with Lichen Sclerosis (which I have seen others on here talk about).  Yes it can be treated with steriod creams, but I think the important thing that people need to know is that this is not curable.  This is an autoimmune disease.  It is treatable and you can stop the itching, but it is not curable.

Scratching can only make things worse.  With this disease you body is basically attacking its own skin.   Each time you scratch and break the skin, you are forming more scar tissue which leads to more problems.  My inner labia has fused to the outer labia.  I have seen some research that says estrogens creams applied to the skin can help with unfusing, but I have not had any luck with that.

I would encourage anyone on here that is suffering from these symptoms to do some more research on Lichen Sclerosis and see you doctor about it.  I went from having to use steroid creams twice daily to only needing it for an outbreak now.  However stress or illness or rally any stressor to the body can cause an outbreak.

Good luck with managing the symptoms - it is manageable, but it is not a fun disease.
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OK so I was being treated for jock itch cause it was external but since no antifungals or antibiotics worked my dr sent me to the gyn who tested me for vag. infections and found nothing (I coulda told 'em that). Of course my symptoms I'd had for a year improved spontaneously day of the appt. The Dr. saw nothing to treat but upon my desperate insistence that it was itching like mad even if it didn't look like anything, they sent me home w/a steroid lotion which was both soothing and it totally cleared it up in a week! Triamcinolone Acetonide!! I've been non itchy for a week now and it's wonderful to be normal again.
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Unbelievable - after 10 years to read all these posts. My itching has caused the skin to change texture...sort of wart like and it is growing in a really strange way. - I'm so embarressed about my vagina - it's ugly! The itch is now spreading towards my anus and I'm really worried becuase the skin is swelling. Might be stress. Will keep looking for the sure. Glad I'm not the only one!
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I am not alone!! Hurray. Hello from across the pond. I to have had the itch for nearly 3 years predominantly on the right side of my vulvar. At first I thought it was scar tissue from giving birth, I'm 34 and Take Levothyroxine for Thyroid. It was great to read so many stories that i could relate to. I also have done the Dermatologist thing but always felt this was a wast of time and guess what no allergies. So I don't know if mine is Hormone related, chemical related, discharge related, stress related or what. The itch has now developed periodically, to my left groin area which I really don't understand. And because it's so sporadic you feel you can't make a fuss because it's not there all the time. My next step is go the chemical route. Out with the Bad in with the completely natural. Does Viaderm really work? HAs anybody tried Seredyn a nutural de-stress medication?.
Am struggling to find it in the UK.

Good luck to all... Nice to know I'm not alone
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TG I have found this forum. I too thought I was alone with this problem. After over 14 or so years of itching and seeking medical treatment in 3 countries (because of where I lived) no one has come up with diagnosis. None of my docs even seemed to care that this was causing me such distress. This morning, I saw my obgyn and after saying it again to her she has finally decided to do a biopsy. She saw some pigment change and maybe thats what finally triggered her into trying something diff. I was treated for yeasts, told I had HPV (which my current doc says I don't ) but I'm interested to see whether its something that could be subclinical. Anyway ladies thank you all for your posts and helpful info. If men were walking around with itchy d**ks all day long - you know there would be have been a cure by now!!
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It has truly shocked me to read the number of comments posted on this forum; I had no idea that there were so many of us suffering with similar symptoms.  I have had 'the itch' for about eleven years.  My doctor is amazing and has really been there for me every step of the way trying everything he can think of; he did admit that he was surprised no treatment has yet worked.  I have to believe, though, that there exists something or some combination of things that will provide some relief.  I have tried most of the creams people have listed in their posts, including some others:

1.  Nystatin/Triamcinolone
2.  Clobetisole
3.  Estrogen Cream
4.  Teststerone Cream
5.  Diflucan
6.  Prescription Yeast Cream
7.  Fluconizde
8.  Lidocaine cream
9.  Acupuncture
10.  Benadryl
11.  Colon cleanse / Candida yeast cleanse
12.  Liver cleanse
13.  Biopsy
14.  Diabetes fasting test
15.  Ice
16.  Hydroxyzine HCL
17.  Protopic
(I apologize for misspellings of any of these medicines!)

There are probably other things that are slipping my mind at the moment.  I have noticed, too, like many others, that there is some connection between the severity of itch with pregnancies (I've had two), periods, stress, alcohol, time of day, etc.  I also empathize with those of you who have pain and discomfort during intercourse.  Just thank you to everyone who has posted - there is something to be said about power in numbers.  
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You know. I am pretty healthy at 38 with NO health problems except for a slow weight gain over a period of 10 years (30lbs) and some sinus infections over the past 3 years..

I started in Nov 2007. The itching gets bad starting in the evening..and when I take clothes off for bed..it's the worst. I can usually get relief after a good scratching and applying some vaseline and then a thin dab of vicks vapo rub! (cool and refreshing) I've had a few nights where an ice pack was called for. I've had some itching on other parts of my body and YES...a bit in the cleavage area and under the bra area during the day and when I take my bra off... But then my sleep overrides the itchiness after applying all these things I just tend to fall asleep.

Itchiness occurs all over on the left labia mostly inner and outer along the perineum to the anus... along with a white hard type of growth on the inside the labia. This white hard thing looks a little bit like a hard white zit without a head to pop..and sometimes shrinks back on it's own.

The feeling is of bugs crawling to a sharp instant stinging that will make you jump... like a nerve problem. Nerve damage is a good description of what it feels like.

Here are the things that have changed. While they may sound weird or off the cuff..it's a start and I'm going to list other things that I've used over time.

Around the time it started or shortly before:

I started using a tablespoon of sweetened condensed milk in my coffee (not every day but have increased my dairy intake when I generally use rice milk - not soy)

I have a water filter attached to my sink versus having Poland Spring bottled water delivered which I drank for years.

I just bought a new Panasonic Microwave oven but rarely use it.

Took antibiotics for sinus infections. (2 kinds of antibiotics The first was Amoxicillan 3 day 3 tablet dose type which gave me a stomach ache and then used Clavulanate )

I did have a yeast infection about a month before it started which cleared up with Monistat

I started using Clorox wipes.

I started using a laptop when I'm sitting up in bed versus the on eat my desk.

I was using concentrated Tide with bleach in my laundry.

THINGS I DO NORMALLY DID and DO before the Itching started in Nov 2007
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I find it hard to believe its soap..I've used whatever's been available over the years.
Used Rhinocort for sinusitis.
I was using Tylenol sinus and Claritin-D (and other sinus meds)
Used Afrin no drip spray
I have a cat (he eats friskies and 9 lives canned)
I have 2 guinea pigs
Some days I drink tea or coffee
I don't eat meat except some fish..mostly tuna or salmon
While I don't eat salty foods nor have any kind of chips around..
I do enjoy my dark chocolate
My diet is simple (fruits vegetable salads beans lentils rice tuna pasta)
I eat veggie meat i.e tofurkey dogs, smart dogs and gimme lean.
I do like cheese
I run a Honeywelll hepa filter during the nights
I do seem to have dust accumulation every 2-4 days.
I have a wireless network in my home
I live in the New York city area-a condensed city environment (air quality)
We started to have building renovations (built 1921) and major renovations on our floors and around the outside 1 year before itching (cleaning chemicals?) and renovation continues for a full year.
I was (about twice a year) getting acrylic nails put on.
The building across the street installed a cell array on the roof about 2 years ago.
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I find that a hot bath helps for awhile..AND if I'm really really tired...I'm not going to itch..I will just be more relaxed and fall right asleep....which makes me wonder if it's a "nerve" problem. I think it may be fungal, not sure.

It has affected my sex life..I have no interest in it. My boyfriend is constantly telling me not to fidget. I do think I fidget more..I used to feel more calm and unmoving before 3 years ago..I know it's different now. It's been a big switch over in the years of B.I. Before Itch.

It seems to sound like for the younger girls it could be a real health problem not connected to the older women in their 20s and later who, just out of the blue, may have a condition related to something in the environment or something they ate.

Maybe it's something in the water. Maybe it's something to keep people from procreating..because it sure has kept me from wanting anything to do with it. I'm just shocked at the amount of people posting just on THIS SITE!

I hope there is a common denominator in which we can share more about our everyday lives and figure out. 4 out of 10 women getting this is just unacceptable.
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wow i cant believe there are so many with this same problem. i thought i had an ingrown hair but after checking and shaving and time nope. THis has to be connected with stds.  i have been treated with hpv and herpies (herpes) and yes ladies they guys know they have it and pass it on because they just want sex.  my guy said oh its a skin tag.  i didnt know there what hpv was.  they lie.  i tried suing but the male lawyer bailed right after my statute of limigtations.  i tried representing myself but it got too crazy.
anyway for the last 4 weeks or so i have had this itch i am going to try the vinegar thing and try to move my annual check up earlier.  biopsy here i come.  i had the first stage of hpv. not a big deal to get treated just uncomfortable but DONT WAIT if you have any discharge i had a puddle  and my doc said " oh by the way ... your pap  was not quite right"
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I've posted on here a couple times before and have checked it almost daily for hope someone finally had answers. I've had the itch for about 3 years. No sleep for 3 years. Finally, it's been about a month, and I have absolutely NO ITCH!!! Thank God!! About a month ago I got a really bad sinus infection and my dr. put me on a really strong antibiotic. The last couple of days on the rx I thought I started developing a yeast infection, first time. The itching was unbearable, when I thought it couldn't get any worse. I got a monistat 3 at the drugstore, and started it that night. After third night using it, I still felt like it wasn't any better. I called my gyno. and told the nurse the strong antibiotic I had taken so I was pretty sure it was a bad yeast infection and I used the monistat 3 and that didn't work either. She talked to the doctor and had a diflucan pill called in and said to take it immediatly. I did and the itching still wasn't going away so I called the gyno back. I explained my misery. I said I didn't know if the yeast infection was on my skin too, but with a two year old and getting no sleep was just killing me. So I ASKED for some type of steroid creme to help end the horrible skin itching. My doctor called in Clotrimazole and Betamethasone Dipropionate Cream. It's a steroid and antifungal. I used it 2x a day for ten days. It's been almost 3 weeks since I've used it now and the itch is still gone. I really, truely believe now that this itching has to be caused by some type of skin fungal infection. I had the itching start before I was pregnant, all through my pregnancy, and ever since. I kept telling my doctor about it, and he testing my for everything and yeast infections all the time, but couldn't find anything. I feel like finally getting a yeast infection was the best thing, because I had a reason for the doctor to give me a steroid-antifungal cream. Everyone please atleast talk to your doctors about it a give it a try. Good luck, I truely know what you're going through
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Well just had my biopsy! procedure was painless but the after burn is intense!! Asked my doc what she thought it could be - she did say she thought it might be a strain of HPV. We shall see. I have been cleared for the HPV up inside but this could be just on the skin. Anyway, will post results! fingers crossed its something that can be treated!!
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When monistat, vaseline wasn't working, nor vagisil..nor other over the counter ointments...I bought PONDS "Dry Skin Cream" in a jar. So far The Day has been much better. I started applying it every hour or whenever I felt dry and itchy. I needed it less toward night time..but it had a cool relief like with Vicks vaporub without the drying effect. and not greasy.

I'm going to try this for a few days...but if it continues, I'm going to have to see a doctor. I would have to start ruling other things out like fungal or a harsher type of yeast infection. Ive been with the same partner for 7 years so I don't think it's an STD and he's very much my good friend also. So I don't suspect anything.

I also started taking a multivitamin daily. The last time I did this (8 years ago) I needed to see someone about my hip. When I would walk 2 miles home from work..I would get a pain in the middle of my hip at the top of the femur bone. It felt like a hot throbbing with an aching. Orthopedic specialist took xrays and checked it out..Nothing. He prescribed physical therapy. I thought all the walking WAS physical therapy.  

I went home and thought this through..why all of a sudden (after walking for a few years) would I suddenly have this problem? Was it my body doing normal daily damage while I walking and then not being able to repair itself? Was I missing something from my diet that was not allowing the body to do the daily repair?  

YES it was..because I started taking vitamins AND even though I had a decent diet..the nutrients were NOT in the food. Voila! within a week..I had major diminished more throbbing after walks..then I weened myself off the vitamins to just taking one or two a week. THEN none within 3 months of NO vitamins..The throbbing started again. SO!

I am back on vitamins (Maybe my body is not able to fight or repair something?)...3 days now into it...will check back in about a week to see if there is a "healing" improvement...along with the PONDS cream to keep me from itching.
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Had my biopsy. Basically came back negative for anything 'unusual' which is a relief in one way but still I basically have no diagnosis and my doctor said that she maybe did not get enough skin from the area to make a conclusive diagnosis and recommended another biopsy!
Well I'm not going to that anytime soon. The healing process is quite slow and I'm still sore 3 weeks after. I have a slight scar in one area (I scar easily) so I don't want to be cut up down there.
Basically as it seems I have appeared to rule out any cancerous changes (!) I'm probably just going to have to live with this. Discouraged.
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It took me a long to to find the cause of this horrible itch for myself, so I pass this along in case it helps you.  It appears to be caused by an unbalanced PH level in my system.  If it is too high, one way or the other (alkaline or acidic) I have a problem.  PH is best balanced through proper diet (you can google all kinds of info on it), but it can be balanced more quickly by taking a spoonful of raw apple cider vinegar (like Bragg brand, but it does not matter which brand you use) and mixing it in a glass of water before you drink it.  It must be RAW apple cider vinegar, not clear.  Raw tends to be cloudy and you need to shake it up to get the good stuff (which is called "the mother") well mixed.  Raw apple cider vinegar can be found in the health food aisle of most grocery stores or in health food stores.  It may take a few days to balance out your PH, but it should bring relief to some.  Obviously, it won't cure a disease, but if PH is your problem, this should do it.  You can buy PH paper at the drugstore.  If they don't have it on the shelf they will usually order it for you and get within a few days.  The one I buy comes on a roll, sort of like a tape despenser and it cost about $19.00 but it lasts a long time.  You test your urine and can instantly tell the reading.  Apparently it is the urine that is causing the itch - like when you laugh, or sneeze...you get the picture.  Anyway, the way I found relief while waiting for the PH to level out was with A & D cream with zinc, found in the baby department at Target.  Once I discovered this the cream and got my PH under control life is good again.  This may not be the answer for everyone, but it is a quick, easy and inexpensive thing to try.  I just thought I would pass this along in case it might help someone else.  I hope it does!
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Did any one test for gluten intolerance which may be responsible? Gluten is a sticky substance found in wheat.  Many foods contain wheat--bread would be the first. A blood test will detect for gluten antibodies if there is any sensitivity to it.  
Good luck.

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I just came across this site and was extremely overwhelmed with the amount of women having the same problem.

My situation stated about 17 yrs ago (now I'm 44) and it seemed to start after my husband shaved my pubic region. It started with a small itchy dry patch on my left side. I had a biopsy (which was very very painful!!) and supposedly the results was HPV. Just like the others, I was saying WHAT HPV. I've only been sexually active with one guy which was and still is my husband of 20 yrs and dated him at 17 yrs old. The doctor at that time made me feel that either I or my husband was fooling around. So I never related it with HPV. It comes and goes. Like I mentioned above, it started on the left..went away..came back on the right...went away and now I have it on both sides. I keep the hair trimmed and most the time shaved. Could it be from shaving? I have no clue. I like the area clean shaved because when the hair comes back, the itching is worse and now since I'm having night sweats IT really itches. How embarrassing it is to have a problem down there.

Again it's nice to know that I'm not the only female out there with this problem but it ***** to know that our doctors can't find a damn cure!! Thanks for listening.
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I'm 18 and i have the same thing, it started on the inside of my left leg and then i reckon it must have spread to my labia,its not half as bad on the inside of my leg as it is on my labia.the skin is a different pigment normal white because of it being flaky, when i scratch the flaky skin off it comes back thats when it becomes itchy,it only becomes pink and raised when it has been scratched,i have thrush which i need to go and get treated but i dont believe this a result of thrush, i have been tested for everything and came back clear. I use blistex instensive moisturiser for lips which is pretty much minty lip cream,the mint cools it straight away making the itch go and takes out the redness,when i use the blistex it pretty much goes, but i havent used it long enough to see if it actually gets rid of it,i always use it like twice n then forget n end up scratching it again,give it a try anyway its brilliant stuff it will stop sleepless nights,im gonna give my doctors a try good luck everyone =]
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Hello to all of you...I soo feel your pain..I've been suffering with lichen simplex chronicus for seems like forever...I'm 34 and have had it since I can remember..i've used steroid creams for years, and just recently gave them up...have used antihistamines at night and all possible over the counter creams with benzocaine ect...nothing helps...nightly I wake up..and I just want to scream....I know I have to stop scratching I just can't...it's so horrible that there are so many of us, and no real cure has been found....I'm going to try Vick's Vapour Rub tonight...as previously suggested..I so hope for someday when it's going to be just normal...thanks for reading:(
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ok..I'm back..it's not Jock Itch. I was treatment for it for 3 weeks. I have no relief..itching on the outside of the folds... comes and goes..usually comes at night. I'm wondering now about the comment earlier about THYROID issues and PH balance.

My Gyn keeps giving me Diflucan..which I know yeast is not my problem..my symptoms are nothing like a yeast infection..even the itching is different. I have other itching at night on other parts of my body. I keep fidgeting.

So I'm going to try the apple cider vinegar, the A&D with zinc...whatever....I also was thinking since I have  chronic sinusitis..my cat died of 20 years about three weeks ago,I thought it was him..even though monthly baths... i've completely cleaned dust and my apartment..could it be MOLD?  

Anyone? Could invisible mold spores be in your home?

Have I been exposed to myotoxins??? My sinuses have been better the more I keep windows open.

What the heck is going on?

It seems that one has to get a complete diagnostic. Blood, Thyroid, mold exposure, immunoglobins, hormones, etc. because these individual specialists don't know **** and they have no interest in putting these other issue together.

It's like each doctor being put out there is from a cookie cutter mold.
What happened to investigating the issue from ALL angles?
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A Canadian girl here, 37, and have had this for 1.5 years now.

I've read all the above, and tried all the above.  I wonder if having an operation to reduce my labia (remove the itchy right portion of course - and match the left labia) would work...and be covered by Canadian healthcare for medical reasons.

Yes...it's come to that point after reading all this.  haha

I will say this though... I, too, no longer feel alone.

God Bless!
Kim from Canada
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Wow amazing! I'm not alone and to think i was is what surprises. I wish i can help, but im need help my self

any answers someone? i have this itch for years now maybe about 7 years....its just really bad now and its on my majora lips...soo so bad ...my dr. gave me nystatin with t and oh boy i feel like it hasn't worked, im so miserable it actually takes over my daily life...i dont want to go outside or anywhere..it interfear in my relationship because my partner want s to get intimate and  i always tell him im soo sorry but not today...cause it itch soo badd...to the point that i scratch and cutt my self...HELP
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I can't tell you how relieved I am to know I am not alone! I have had this itchy spot just above my clitoris and slightly to my left that has slowly but steadily worsened over the past year. It has gotten to the point where I have scratched it raw and the skin is dry and flaking. It's so irritated that I get these sharp stabbing pains. It's the weirdest feeling though I can't help but semi-obsessively think that there's something under there! Some kind of bug growing or some kind of deep nerve infection, I don't know.
I can't even let my boyfriend give me oral anymore because that triggers this intense need to scratch and I can't stop until the whole area is raw.
I'm getting desperate; I feel like I am almost mutilating my vagina, the way I rip into my skin but as I know everyone can relate, the need to scratch is so intense there's no way you can ignore it.
I also have HPV, have been going for regular Paps after an abnormal pap showed I have low grade cervical dysplasia (I think, pre-cancerous growths in my cervix). I had genital warts for a big but freezing helped and they never came back.
I have read, however, that having HPV can put you at a higher risk for vulvar cancer and now I am mildly freaked out that I have vulvar cancer.
I have my yearly physical tomorrow (thank god because I can't keep going like this) and am going to mention all my symptoms and ask for a biopsy.
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Glad to know that I am not the only one. Also feeling sad to hear that nobody hasn't found a cure for this horrible problem after 3 years of first HELP message.

All my test were back ok. I have no Trush (thrush), no Tyroid problem, no Diabetes, no....! I was so happy to hear that but I was still scratching myself. I believe its the reason of shaving the area.

I bought a cream from the pharmacy (The Boots in UK) today and It worked so well. It gave me a good break. I don't know how long it will work for me. The name of the cream is "LANACANE". It contains BENZOCINE.
I'll keep you all informed.
Best wishes :)
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Ladies,

I've been dealing with the same issue for at least 2 years now.  I feel the need to post some of my own medical history as well as why I think now that I may have excessive candida in hopes that it will help some of you.  

I went to the gyn about 2 1/2 years ago and asked him about the itching/burning.  While performing the regular annual pap, he took a brief look at the vulvar area, stated that it looked a bit red, and immediately declared it Vulvodynia.  He said there was no known cause and no known cure.  Then he gently told me that it often occurred in conjunction with psychological issues about sex, sometimes from women who have been abused.  This does not actually apply to me, but he did mention that it was not all cases, so I took him at his word.  He prescribed Clobetasol Propionate (steroid cream).  I knew that steroids are really only meant to treat the symptom and should be used temporarily, but he assured me that I may be able to get rid of the itch long enough for the problem to right itself.  It didn't work.  

The following year, the previous doctor had left the clinic and I saw a different doctor.  Instead of investigating himself, he repeated the prognosis from my chart and prescribed Amitriptyline.  I understand that another woman on this list has had success with it and mentioned the connection with nerve damage, but this is not my case.  I got the distinct feeling from what both doctors told me that it was prescribed to me because of the fact that it is primarily used as an anti-depressant.  I had my hesitations because I don't feel the need for an anti-depressant, and I still think that the prescription was only dealing with the symptoms, not the cause.  I took the pills for a few days and was barely functional because I was so sleepy and groggy.  I received advice to go back to the doctor and change the dosage, but I preferred to stop taking it.  I'd rather get a second opinion about what is causing this, but I had no idea where to go if most of the doctors will jump to the conclusions that we have dealt with that are not helpful.

I've recently found this article about Vulvodynia:
http://www.aafp.org/afp/20060401/1231.html
It states that "The diagnosis of vulvodynia is made after taking a careful history, ruling out infectious or dermatologic abnormalities..." and "...affected women often have been treated repeatedly for candidal vulvovaginitis."  I'm a bit upset that the diagnosis was made after simply glancing at the vulvar area.  Seriously, NO other tests were done.  The article also states that the psychological aspects formerly associated with the condition have been disproved.  

After reading some of the posts above about candida, I did a bit more online research on it.  Here is a good article:
http://www.holistichelp.net/candida.html
Essentially, candida is a yeast that occurs naturally in the body, but if something upsets the bacterial balance, it can grow unchecked and cause problems (including vaginal yeast infections).  One of the triggers can be a diet high in sugars and gluten, and frankly, that's me.  I'm a so-called "junk food vegetarian," but you don't have to exclude meat to ingest a lot of carbs and sugars and beer and such.  Other triggers are overuse of antibiotics or prolonged usage of oral birth control.  

At the end of the article, there is a description of a home test for candida.  I just tried it this morning and tested "positive."  Here's another article that discusses the test as well as the proper medical tests and possible ways of finding doctors who will administer them if yours won't:
http://www.candida-albicans-cure.com/candida-test.html

I do realize that a free home test is not a definite indicator, but I feel like I finally have a path to try.  I'm spending the morning looking for appropriate diet information (I already know I'm going to miss my beer), and I will start taking acidophilus as a supplement (http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-acidophilus.htm).  I may also try the Fungal Defense previously mentioned (http://www.gardenoflifeusa.com/ProductsforLife/SUPPLEMENTS/DigestiveHealth/FungalDefense/tabid/635/Default.aspx) or a Candida Cleanse from the health food store, also mentioned above.  

I'm also making an appointment with a clinic that looks like they may be a bit more open to alternative options (they have two midwives on staff).  

Anyway, if I have any luck, I'll post back.  I already know that this may take a few months.  Thank you for all of your help, ladies, and I really appreciate that we have an outlet to talk to each other about this.

Jenn
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Oh my gosh -
You could have written my recent experience!!!

I have a prescription for Elavil at my house that I refuse to take because I just don't believe I have vulvodynia.  No tests were done to check on it.  A nurse at my dr office suggested I might have it - over the telephone after I had a third negative test for bv or yeast.  She said she would talk to dr and call me the next day.  She did can the next day with a prescription for Elavil.  

I just saw my ob/gyn Friday and was livid when I left.  I felt unlistened to and frustrated.  I am calling a women's clinic tomorrow to get an appointment - looking for natural treatment and answers to questions.  

I had a hysterectomy in August.  I am having a lot of vulva dryness - any suggestions on what to use to help it?

I have tried k-y, vitamin A& D ointment, Vit E oil, coconut oil and other over the counter "lubricants" nothing has helped.  For the past week i have resorted to vegetable shortening.

My ob/gyn prescribed Clobetasol in January - burned like crazy couldn't use it.  Then Friday prescribed clotrimazole and betamethasone cream - same results - burns like crazy.  I just can't tolerate the coricosteriods.  I have a low sensitivity to medications.
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