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...
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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?
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!
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..
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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 ***@****
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
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.
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.
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
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!
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.
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
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.
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.-
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?
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.
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. :)
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.
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.......
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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!
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.
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
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.
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 ????
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!!!
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.
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!
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 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.
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.
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!
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. 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.
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! :)
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!!
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.
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!)
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.
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.
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
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!
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??
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!
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.
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.
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?
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).
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!
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.
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.
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! :)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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....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!
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.
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. 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. In some instances, the dermatitis may be localized to the hands alone.
Cocamidopropyl Betaine -
Cocamidopropyl betaine (CAPB) is a surfactant primarily used in personal cleansing products. Although most commonly found in rinse-off products, the chemical nonetheless has been shown to induce allergy. The most frequent site of dermatitis from CAPB is the head and neck region, but other sites may be affected. Widespread dermatitis attributed to CAPB in shampoo has been reported.
Methyldibromo Glutaronitrile -
Methyldibromo glutaronitrile (MDGN) is a broad-spectrum preservative used more often in cosmetics over the past decade. 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. Sites of involvement often include the head and neck (shampoo, detergents), hands (hand lotion), and the perianal area (moistened toilet tissue). MDGN has been implicated in chronic hand dermatitis in a patient using liquid soap. Leave-on cosmetics and moistened toilet tissue seem to be more important sources than rinse-off products.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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 !
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:)
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 !
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.
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.
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!!!!!!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!!!!!!