Genital itching is one of the symptoms of infections that cause the irritation of the skin in the area around the genitals. This itch affects both men and women, but women are more predisposed to this condition because of the structural makeup of their genitals.
There are many reasons why the itch develops, ranging from allergic reactions following contact with the skin, sexually transmitted infections as well as menopause (for women).
In addition to the intense itching, other symptoms include a burning sensation in the genital area, redness of the affected skin, and in some cases, a persistent odor and discharge may be produced especially in women.
Even before looking at some of the natural remedies that you can use to manage genital itching, it is important to acknowledge that proper hygiene is of paramount importance for both men and women. A proper diet also goes a long way in ensuring that you keep this itching at bay.
Below are some of the most effective natural remedies used for the home treatment of genital itching. If your infection does not clear even with the use of natural remedies for more than a week, make sure you book an appointment with your doctor in order to carry out proper diagnosis and follow this up with the correct treatment.
NOTE: Genital itching is commonly referred to as vaginal itching. Since the most common form of genital itching affects women, most of the remedies are made to include application on the vagina. They may, however, be used by men experiencing genital itching.
1. Cold Water Rinse or Cold Compress:
Time Required: 15 Min
What You Need: Cold water and a clean towel (for the rinse). Ice cubes and a clean towel (for the cold compress).
One of the easiest ways to put stop to the burning sensation that accompanies genital itching is to rinse the vaginal area with cold water. This not only soothes the irritated skin, it also reduces the heat which offers some relief, albeit temporarily. The cold compress works in pretty much the same way. The low temperatures of the wrapped ice cubes create a numbing sensation that counters the burning sensation and goes a long way in reducing the itching. This is also a quick way to get relief from inflammation.
Using the Cold Rinse method:
- Rinse the area around the vagina using the cold water. Try as much as you can to rinse the vagina downwards.
- Pat the vagina dry and wait a few minutes before dressing. Avoid rubbing the irritated skin as this will only cause further irritation. Use this remedy as often as is required.
Using the Cold Compress method:
- Place the ice cubes on the clean towel before wrapping to create a pack. The essence of doing this is to ensure that the ice does not come into direct contact with the skin around the genitals. Failure to do this exposes you to the risk of frost bite.
- Place the ice pack on the vagina for a couple of minutes.
- Remove the pack for a minute before placing it once again.
- Repeat this process as and when it is needed.
2. Garlic Oil:
Time Required: 15 Min
What You Need: 3 Drops of garlic oil, a teaspoon of vitamin E, cotton wool and warm water to rinse. You may also use fresh garlic cloves.
Garlic is best known for its healing properties as a natural home remedy for a wide array of skin infections. These properties can be attributed to the presence of antibacterial and antibiotic traits which help eliminate potential bacteria in the genital area. When ingested, the garlic cloves boost the body’s immunity and assist the body ward off infections. The Vitamin E oil is added to the remedy because it nourishes the skin and allows for healing.
- Place the garlic oil in a shallow container and add the Vitamin E oil before mixing well.
- Soak the cotton wool in the oil mixture and dab it on the affected skin around the vagina.
- Allow the oil to remain on the skin for 10 minutes for the effects to take place.
- Rinse the skin with warm water before patting dry. Use this remedy at least twice daily in order to notice improvements on the reduction of the genital itch.
- Alternatively, make sure you chew on a fresh garlic clove at least thrice daily.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Raw apple cider vinegar (ACV), a glass of warm water for dilution, water to rinse and a sitz bath.
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is an excellent home remedy for the treatment of genital itching as it has excellent antibacterial properties. Its anti-fungal properties also help eliminate any potential infections that cause itching. Overall, ACV also has the ability to balance the pH values of the vagina, thus eliminating itchiness that results from remarkable pH changes. You may choose to take an ACV sitz bath, or you may opt to rinse the vagina with diluted ACV. Both methods work well, and the choice of either boils down to personal preference.
NOTE: A sitz bath is simply a shallow water bath in a specialized bath structure. This structure is made such that it allows you to soak your vagina in the solution with your legs wide apart. It is a very effective method as the solution flows freely around the affected skin. In the absence of a sitz bath, you can always use a baby’s bath.
Using the Sitz Bath:
- Add a half a cup of the raw ACV to the bath containing warm water.
- Mix the two before taking your position on the sitz bath. For this remedy to work effectively, you need to sit well with your legs wide apart at all times until you are done with the bath.
- Soak in the bath for 15 minutes. Repeat this procedure at least twice daily for several days until the itching ceases.
Using the ACV Rinse:
- Place 2 tablespoons of the ACV in a glass of warm water and mix well.
- Use this solution as vaginal rinse.
- Do not dry the skin immediately, instead allowing the effects of the ACV to set in for about 5 minutes after.
- Use this remedy twice daily until the genital itching stops.
4. Salt Water Sitz Bath:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Half a cup of salt and warm water in the sitz bath.
Warm salty water goes a long way in relieving the itchiness in the genital area. This works because the salt present in the solution regulates the growth and multiplication of infection-causing microorganism. As a result of the decrease in microbial population, there’s a corresponding decrease in the itching and burning sensation that is typical of genital itches. Note that salt water sitz bath is not recommended for you if the skin around the vagina has open tears.
- Transfer the salt to the sitz bath containing the warm water and stir to enhance dissolution of the same.
- Position yourself well so that the vaginal area comes into contact with the salty water.
- Stay in this position for 10 minutes, all the while washing the affected area with the salty solution.
- Use this remedy thrice daily until the genital itch is eliminated.
5. Probiotic Yogurt:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: Half a cup of probiotic yogurt and cotton wool
Probiotic yogurt is an excellent home remedy for the treatment of genital itching because it soothes the irritated skin as well as helps control vaginal infections. The purpose of the active cultures is to reduce the population of bad bacteria while increasing the population of good bacteria. Overall, regular application of probiotic yogurt to the vagina goes a long way in maintaining the natural flora of the vagina.
- Put the yogurt in a shallow container and dip the cotton wool in it.
- Proceed apply the yogurt on the affected area.
- Allow the yogurt to remain in the skin for 20 minutes before wiping off.
- Use this remedy at least thrice daily until you manage the itchiness.
6. Neem Leaves:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: A handful of Neem leaves, 3 cups of clean water, a strainer and cotton wool.
Neem also known as Indian lilac, is an excellent remedy in the management of genital itching. The leaves of the plant are used to prepare a solution that has antiseptic properties which hep ward off the infection and keep the burning sensation at bay. Neem leaves have been shown to be particularly effective in the natural treatment of itching that results from a yeast infection (also known as candidiasis).
- Sort the neem leaves so that you choose only the freshest.
- Place the leaves in a pan and add the water before boiling the mixture.
- Strain the mixture and throw away the used leaves
- Place the strained solution aside to cool.
- Once the solution is warm enough, dip the cotton wool in it and use this to apply on the itchy skin.
- Allow the rest of the solution to remain on for a couple of minutes before rinsing with the remaining neem solution.
- Use this remedy two times daily.
Other remedies that you can use to reduce genital itching include unpasteurized honey which has rich antimicrobial properties to deal with itching arising from infections, diluted tea tree oil as well as chamomile which soothes the inflamed skin. In addition to these natural remedies, it helps to avoid any irritating products such as fragrant bath products, feminine hygiene sprays, scented soaps and scented sanitary towels. Make sure you wear loose underwear too in order to prevent further irritation of the skin.