What Are the Best Home Remedies for Vaginal Itching?

Medically Reviewed on 3/23/2021

What Is vaginal itching?

Home remedies for vaginal itching include eating yogurt or probiotics, applying yogurt and honey as a topical, over-the-counter medications, suppositories and creams, and dietary changes may help relieve symptoms.
Home remedies for vaginal itching include eating yogurt or probiotics, applying yogurt and honey as a topical, over-the-counter medications, suppositories and creams, and dietary changes may help relieve symptoms.

Vaginal itching — also known as vaginal pruritis — is an unpleasant experience that can be caused by a range of conditions. Itching can be brought on by dryness or irritants found in soap or clothing. It can also be caused by vaginitis — a sexually transmitted infection (STI), bacterial vaginosis, or yeast infection.

There are several home remedies for relieving your itchy symptoms, but choosing an effective remedy depends on the source of your discomfort. Internal discomfort may point to a yeast infection, but external discomfort tends to indicate a skin condition. 

It is very important to consider when you should seek medical attention and monitor any changes or worsening of your symptoms. However, there are home remedies that may help you find relief.

Pruritus is a general term that is defined as persistent itching. Many people experience vaginal pruritus, which is characterized by consistent itchiness of the vulva or vagina. Symptoms include itchiness, dryness, and irritation.

Potential causes of vaginal itching include {BioMed Research International: “Pruritus in Female Patients.”}:

  • Hormonal changes
  • Infection
  • Contact dermatitis 
  • Insufficient hygiene
  • Prolonged contact with wet swimsuits or workout gear
  • Irritants such as underwear or sanitary pads

Your doctor can determine the cause of vaginal itching through a physical examination, analysis of symptoms, and lab tests. Depending on the cause, your doctor may prescribe medication or lifestyle changes.

Depending on the symptoms and cause of vaginal itching, there are remedies you can try at home to resolve your symptoms. 

Home remedies for vaginal itching

Avoiding irritants

Basic care for vaginal itching often includes avoiding possible triggers and irritants for dermatitis and inflammation. Potential triggers that should be avoided include:

  • Fragrances
  • Cleaning products — especially those with parabens and dyes
  • Latex condoms
  • Synthetic lubricant
  • Tight or constrictive clothing
  • Shaving pubic area

Treatment plans suggest using only a breathable moisturizing oil externally and wearing light, cotton underwear.

Eating yogurt or probiotics

Research shows that maintaining healthy PH and bacterial levels within the vagina can reduce and prevent vaginal itching {BioMed Research International: “Pruritus in Female Patients.”}. When ingested, yogurt or probiotic supplements that contain the correct cultures can help repopulate the vagina with healthy bacteria. As such, yogurt can help prevent infection and reduce symptoms of vaginal itching.

Applying honey and yogurt as a natural remedy

For some people, using sugar-free yogurt as a soothing remedy has been an effective treatment for vaginal itching, especially itching caused by infection. 

When mixed with honey, yogurt provided soothing relief as a topical home remedy for yeast infections. This calming remedy proved not only to be effective in combating vaginal itching, many people found it more successful than over-the-counter creams in reducing itching and preventing infection.

Treatment for infection

If your vaginal itching is being caused by an infection, home remedies like boric acid can help alleviate symptoms and cure vaginitis when applied internally. Exercise caution: some people experience burning with the use of boric acid.

Over-the-counter suppositories and creams can also be used to relieve symptoms and resolve infection. Research shows that around 80% of yeast infections are cured by the course of treatment available at most drug stores. Non-prescription medication for vaginal infections may help relieve vaginal itching caused by vaginitis.

Dietary changes

Vaginal itching may be aggravated by the foods you eat. Changing your diet may help reduce symptoms and fight infection. Dietary changes to make include:

  • Avoiding sugar 
  • Avoiding yeasty foods like bread
  • Not eating cheese 
  • Avoiding fruit
  • Not drinking alcohol
  • Eating more vegetables and leafy greens
  • Increasing intake of rice and wheat
  • Eating a half-cup of unsweetened yogurt daily for probiotics

Always consult a medical professional before making changes to your diet and monitor any changes in your symptoms.

QUESTION

The vagina includes the labia, clitoris, and uterus. See Answer

Risks and outlook

Many causes of vaginal itching can be treated with home remedies; however, it is important to see a doctor if you are experiencing any severe symptoms such as:

  • Pain or burning when you urinate
  • Pain or burning during sex
  • Noticeable redness or swelling
  • Blisters
  • Unusual discharge
  • Odor
  • Severe itching or pain

Remember to consult with your doctor before trying any home remedies or over-the-counter treatments. 

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Medically Reviewed on 3/23/2021
References
American Family Physician: "Vaginitis: Diagnosis and Treatment."

Annals of Internal Medicine: "Ingestion of yogurt containing Lactobacillus acidophilus as prophylaxis for candidal vaginitis."

BioMed Research International: "Pruritus in Female Patients."

Deutsches A¨rzteblatt International: "Vulvar Pruritus—Causes, Diagnosis and Therapeutic Approach."

Ginekologia Polska: "The role of diet and probiotics in prevention and treatment of bacterial vaginosis and vulvovaginal candidiasis in adolescent girls and non-pregnant women."

Global Journal of Health Science: "The Comparison of Vaginal Cream of Mixing Yogurt, Honey and Clotrimazole on Symptoms of Vaginal Candidiasis."

Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynecology: "Vaginitis: Making Sense of Over-the-Counter Treatment Options."

Journal of the National Medical Association: "Yogurt: still a favorite for vaginal candidiasis?"

Obstetrical & Gynecological Survey: "Common complementary and alternative therapies for yeast vaginitis and bacterial vaginosis: a systematic review."

Sidahora "[Natural remedies for vaginal infections]."

Trials: "BASIC study: is intravaginal boric acid non-inferior to metronidazole in symptomatic bacterial vaginosis? Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial."