Itching on Genitals
Pelvis | Gynecology | Itching on Genitals (Symptom)
Itching in the genital region can result from irritation, allergy, inflammation, infection or cancer. Irritation can occur as a result of exposure to chemicals in soaps, feminine hygiene products, perfumes, lubricants, douches, and creams. Similar chemicals can also cause allergies in some people, as can latex. In the case of irritation and allergy, avoiding exposure to the irritant or allergen may be all that is needed for the itching to resolve.
Sexually transmitted infections, such as herpes or trichomoniasis, can cause genital itching, as can other infections, such as yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis. Pubic lice, also called “crabs,” are sexually transmitted and typically cause genital itching. Scabies, which can be spread sexually or through other skin-to-skin contact, is a contagious skin disease that typically causes itching. Scabies is caused by very small mites and can affect any part of the body.
Tinea cruris, a fungal infection sometimes referred to as “jock itch” or “ringworm of the groin,” can also cause genital infection. People who have tinea cruris may also have athlete’s foot or ringworm.
Some non-infectious skin conditions, such as psoriasis, eczema, and lichen simplex chronicus, can involve the genital area. These itchy skin conditions often affect other areas of the body, as well. Other non-infectious causes of genital itching include changes associated with decreased hormone levels following menopause, as well as precancerous changes and cancers. The treatment of genital itching is highly variable depending on the cause of the itching.
Genital itching is unlikely to be part of a condition that requires emergent treatment; however, it can have several causes, some of which are easily treated and others that can ultimately lead to serious complications. If you have genital itching that lasts for a couple days or more or causes you concern, seek prompt medical care.