Genital Itching: Causes, Symptoms And How To Deal

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Genital Itching: Causes, Symptoms And How To Deal

Genital itchiness is a bothersome irritation that can occur on the skin of your genital area.

Genital Itching: Causes, Symptoms And How To Deal

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It's not uncommon for people to experience an occasional itch in their genitals. However, if the itch persists and significantly affects your daily life, it's advisable to seek medical attention from a healthcare professional. There are several common causes of itching in and around the pubic area, such as certain skin conditions, allergic reactions, and irritation from hygiene products like soap. Itchy genitals can affect anyone, regardless of their age or sexual experience. Whether you're experiencing itchiness in your vagina, penis, or scrotum, a healthcare provider can help diagnose the underlying cause and provide appropriate treatment.

Genital itching is generally not a cause for concern unless it exhibits the following characteristics:

  1. It persists

  2. It is severe

  3. It recurs

  4. It is accompanied by irregular discharge from the vagina or penis or a visible rash


Itchy genitals are characterised by a sensation that triggers the desire to scratch the region encompassing the vulva, scrotum or penis. At times, individuals may observe redness, a rash, abnormal discharge, or other visible indications. However, it is important to note that experiencing itchiness in a private area does not necessarily indicate an infection.

Causes of genital itching

Itchy genitals can affect anyone, and there are numerous factors that can cause this discomfort. Some of the more prevalent causes of genital itching include:

  1. Eczema (atopic dermatitis)

  2. Dermatitis

  3. Psoriasis

  4. Lichen sclerosus

  5. Lichen simplex chronicus

  6. Pinworms

  7. Allergies or an allergic reaction

  8. Skin irritation due to sweating or wearing tight clothing

  9. Irritation from personal hygiene products like soaps, perfumes, and detergents

  10. Genital herpes

  11. Genital warts

  12. Pubic lice (or crabs)

  13. Razor burn resulting from pubic hair shaving

  14. Vulvar cancer (rare occurrence)

The following factors can lead to vaginal itch in individuals with a uterus:

  1. Yeast infection

  2. Bacterial vaginosis

  3. Trichomoniasis (or trich)

  4. Chlamydia

  5. Gonorrhoea


Genital itching can be indicative of different conditions and infections. To determine the cause, your healthcare professional may conduct the following examinations:

  1. Observation of skin colour (red, white, brown)

  2. Assessment of changes in skin texture (thickening, thinning)

  3. Evaluation of surface alterations in the skin (dryness, scales, flaking, oozing)

  4. Additionally, your healthcare provider may need to validate the diagnosis by taking a small sample of your skin for microscopic examination or sending it to a laboratory

Preventive measures 

To minimise the chances of experiencing itchy genitals, there are several preventive measures you can take. The specific approaches may differ depending on whether you have a vagina or a penis.

Here are some general steps that everyone can follow to help prevent itchy genitals:

  1. Maintain cleanliness and dryness in the genital area. Use mild soap while washing and ensure thorough rinsing with water. It is advisable to avoid excessive cleaning of the area and instead gently pat the genitals dry.

  2. Opt for loose clothing and underwear made of natural fibres. Regularly change your underwear, ensuring a fresh pair at least once every 24 hours.

  3. After bathing or swimming, make sure to dry yourself completely. Avoid wearing damp clothing for prolonged periods.

  4. Engage in protected sexual activities, especially if there are concerns about potential infections for either you or your partner.

To help prevent genital itching, people with a vagina can follow these recommendations:

  1. Ensure to wipe from front to back constantly to prevent the transfer of bacteria from the anus to the vagina.

  2. Refrain from using chemical products like douches or feminine hygiene sprays as they can disrupt the natural acidity of the vagina.

  3. Use an appropriate amount of laundry detergent when washing underwear to avoid excessive exposure to chemicals.

  4. Avoid the use of over-the-counter itch blockers as they may exacerbate the itching problem over time.

  5. If you suspect that a particular vaginal lubricant is worsening the itching, consult your healthcare provider for advice on alternative options.

  6. Minimise trauma to the genital area by avoiding excessive shaving and scratching.

  7. Maintain a balanced diet to promote a healthy balance of bacteria in the vagina.

  8. Avoid scented tampons or sanitary pads.

To prevent genital itching, individuals with a penis should follow these recommendations:

  1. Thoroughly cleanse the penis, including the area beneath the foreskin if uncircumcised. If perspiration occurs during the day, it may be helpful to change underwear before going to bed.

  2. It is recommended to consult your healthcare provider in the following situations regarding itchy genitals. If the itching persists for a prolonged period of time or if it frequently recurs and significantly affects your quality of life, it is advisable to seek medical attention. Your healthcare provider can assist in identifying the underlying cause of the itchiness.

    1. If you notice any irregularities in the colour, texture, consistency, or smell of the discharge, it is important to consult a healthcare professional.

    2. Burning, swelling, or pain, particularly during urination - These symptoms may indicate an underlying infection or inflammation that requires medical evaluation.

    3. Presence of any kind of lump or growth on the skin - If you notice any unusual growths or changes in your genital area, it is important to have them examined by a healthcare provider.


You don't need to endure the discomfort of itchy genitals alone. There exist effective remedies to alleviate or even eliminate your symptoms. Seek assistance from your healthcare provider and remember to follow their prescribed medications. Itchy genitals should not hinder your overall well-being. Strive to resist the urge to scratch in order to prevent worsening the itchiness.

Disclaimer: The above content is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for the advice of a qualified physician or doctor. The Company does not vouch for or endorse any of the above content, and disclaims any and all warranties, express or implied, relating to the same.