Feminine itching can be an embarrassing and often distressing symptom that sometimes doesn't go away by simply practicing good feminine hygiene.
Vaginal itching is usually accompanied by abnormal discharge, which is a common female concern. However, a few women experience an itchy vagina without discharge. Many issues that lead to an itchy vagina with discharge can result in similar symptoms without discharge. Vaginal discharge is often accompanied by bad odor, while those who experience itchiness without the discharge are often odorless.
Causes of Itchy Vagina without Discharge
While most cases of vaginal itching are accompanied by odorous, white, gray, yellowish or greenish discharge, some cases of vaginitis or vaginal inflammation does not result in discharge. There are many possible causes of vaginal itching without discharge.
- Allergic reaction or contact dermatitis - Some women may experience an allergic reaction or contact dermatitis in the vaginal area, resulting in a localized rash or irritation. This may be caused by contact with a substance like soap. You may observe a red rash that disappears once use of the substance is discontinued. Prolonged or repeated contact with the substance, however, may result in intense itching with the appearance of blisters.
- A fungal infection - An infection known called jock itch, a form of ringworm around the vagina, can cause vaginal itching without discharge. The skin develops a rash with areas that may be red, peeling, or bumpy and blister-like. This fungal infection is different from a yeast infection (veginal candidiasis), which is characterized by thick, white vaginal discharge.
- A generalized skin condition - Conditions such as psoriasis, which causes dead skin cells to accumulate on the skin's surface, may result in red patches of skin covered by flakey white scales. This can affect any or all parts of the body, including the vaginal area.
- Seborrheic dermatitis or dandruff - Dandruff in the vaginal area is associated with redness, and the skin may appear greasy-looking with yellowish, flaky skin.
- Scabies - Scabies can also cause vaginal itching. This condition is caused when mites can burrow under the skin. It is characterized by severe itching that is usually worse at night. A rash with tiny blisters or sores may appear.
- Parasitic infections - Parasites like lice may infect the hairy part of the vulva, just as these parasites infect the scalp. Threadworms from the anus may also migrate to the vagina causing itching, especially at night. Although lice and their eggs can be seen by the naked eye, threadworms are seen only through microscopic examination.
- Vaginal dystrophy - A condition called vaginal dystrophy may result from deficiencies in vitamin A, B2 and B12, iron and folic acid. This may cause itchiness. White patches or plaques may appear on the skin around the vagina due to changes in the skin.
- Lichen sclerosus - Women may also have lichen sclerosus, an uncommon skin condition that may occur anywhere in the body, but occurs most frequently in the genital and anal areas. The cause is unknown, but it may be related to an overactive immune system or the lack of sex hormones characteristic of postmenopausal women. Previous skin damage may also increase the risk of acquiring rashes in this location.
- Psychological factors and scratching - Sometimes psychological factors may contribute to symptoms such as vaginal itchiness. In this case, constant scratching causes the skin changes that may lead to inflammation and irritation.
The cause of an itchy vagina without discharge may be identified by medical history, physical examination, and other tests such as biopsy. It is therefore recommended to consult a gynecologist, a dermatologist, or general practitioner for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Treatment for Itchy Vagina Without Discharge
Mild cases of an itchy vagina without discharge may not need treatment to disappear. Specific treatment may be required if the identified cause deems it necessary, such as parasitic or fungal infection.
Persistent itchiness or itchiness that is unbearable can be treated with medication. Your doctor will prescribe a topical corticosteroid that you can apply daily to the affected area. You may need to use this medication for several weeks to completely rid yourself of this condition.
If you have regular changes in your skin you should schedule several follow-up appointments with your doctor. This will help them determine if you are suffering from a serious health condition such as liver disease, diabetes or an autoimmune disorder that will require further treatment. In most cases, treating these underlying causes will help relieve your vaginal symptoms.
Aside from medical treatment, itchiness may also be relieved by:
- Avoid scratching the area as this can cause further irritation.
- Wearing loose underwear in the daytime and putting it off at night.
- Avoiding wear tight-fitting clothes such as pantyhose and tights.
- Not using feminine products like perfume and soap in the affected area.
- Using mild skin lotions and cleansers for sensitive skin.
- Use a vaginal moisturizer or water-based lubricant to combat vaginal dryness.
- Avoiding the use of swimsuits or wet clothes for long periods.
- Avoiding the use scented fabric softeners and laundry dryer sheets.
- Wipe from front to back after using the bathroom to avoid contaminating the genitals.
- Change infant girls' diapers regularly to avoid diaper rash.
- Avoid sexual intercourse until symptoms improve.
- Use condoms during sex to prevent the spread of STDs.