Your vagina and your vulva should not itch on their own. If you notice itching, it means that something is amiss in the vaginal area.
Irregular vaginal discharge is always the first warning sign women tend to notice, though plenty of the conditions that cause itching do not come with any noticeable changes in vaginal discharge.
Getting familiar with the symptoms and causes of vaginal itching without abnormal discharge will help you figure out when you have a problem.
What are the causes for a dry and itchy vagina with no discharge?
There are several causes of vaginal itching that comes with no vaginal discharge and here are some of the most common ones:
1. Razor Burn
Shaving your vaginal area is not much different than shaving any other part of your body, and it can cause irritation and razor burn, which is also referred to as a shaving rash.
If your razor is older and dull, or you shave your private region a bit too roughly, you may notice your skin getting swollen and red with itchy bumps. The shaving rash happens because the razor removes the top layer of skin, allowing bacteria to invade the exposed, gentle skin, causing infection and irritation in the pubic area.
How can you prevent razor burn?
There are several tips for preventing razor burn and vaginal itch in your pubic area. Some of the most useful ones include:
- Using a clean and sharp razor with more blades.
- Take a hot shower before shaving to soften the skin in the private area.
- Use a shaving cream or gel so the razor can glide smoothly over your skin to avoid being too rough.
- Shave in the direction of hair growth only to avoid irritating and stripping the skin.
- Avoid scented toilet paper and other possible irritants, such as fabric softeners
- Rinse with cold water and moisturize the area after shaving
- Wear breathable, cotton underwear after shaving.
2. Excessive Sweating
Sweating in one’s genital region is completely normal and common from time to time. The sweat glands in your genital area are known as apocrine glands, and they produce a thicker sweat than glands elsewhere in your body. As the sweat dries, it tends to make the groin and vulva itchy. The easiest way to make this type of itch go away is by getting clean by taking a bubble bath or shower.
How can you prevent excessive sweating in the private area?
There are several steps you can take in order to prevent excessive sweating in your private area, which will lead to vaginal itching and discomfort. Some of the most useful ones include:
- When you anticipate sweating, make sure you are wearing natural and breathable fabrics, like cotton or silk.
- Avoid tight clothing that traps sweat close to your skin.
- Wear underwear designed for exercising, which is usually moisture-wicking.
- After sweating, shower and change into clean clothes as soon as possible.
- If you are overweight, lose the extra weight to free the area.
- Avoid scented pads or pantyliners; use unscented products and change them frequently.
- Avoid using scented soaps, fabric softener, and body wash and opt for one with no scent instead.
3. Pubic Lice
Pubic lice are a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that can cause vaginal itching with no discharge or any other changes. These microscopic parasites live in pubic hair, and they feed on your blood. The most common way of getting the pubic lace is through direct contact with the pubic hair of someone who already has them.
Pubic lice live in the fleshy area at the top of the vulva, where most of your pubic hair is. Itching is the main giveaway that they are there, but if you look closely, you will see the tan or grayish lice and their yellow or white eggs. Other than the itching, lice will likely not cause any other symptoms.
How to treat and get rid of pubic lice?
- Use over-the-counter or prescription products, such as shampoos, gels, lotions, mousses, and oral medications
- Use a fine-toothed comb to remove eggs from your pubic hair, to stop the lice from multiplying.
- Wash any clothes, towels, and bedding that you used over the previous three days.
4. Lichen Sclerosus
Lichen Sclerosus is a chronic skin condition that causes the skin to become thin, pale, and wrinkly. It usually affects the genitalia and anus, and it is very common in young girls and women over fifty.
Lichen Sclerosus sometimes comes with no symptoms at all. However, when this condition is systematic, the signs can include:
- Intense itching in the private region
- Pain during vaginal penetration
- Difficulty and/or pain with urination
- Blisters and bleeding sores near the vaginal opening
- Easy bruising, tearing, and bleeding in the area
Lichen sclerosis cannot be cured, and the treatment is aimed at alleviating symptoms. This condition usually relapses and remits, and it can get worse over time if not properly treated.
What is the treatment for Lichen Sclerosus?
The common treatment for Lichen Sclerosus often prescribed by the health care provider usually includes:
- Low-dose tricyclic antidepressants to lower the pain
- Over the counter remedies such as Soriatane or Protopic
- Steroid ointment that is going to reduce inflammation, pain, itching, and dry skin
- Steroid injections that will help fight the infection
- Ultraviolet light treatment
5. Genital Herpes
Genital herpes is an STI often caused by the herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) or HSV type 1 (HSV-1). Genital herpes can be transmitted by having unprotected genital contact with the genitals, anus, or lips of someone who has it. The condition can be treated with antiviral medications, over-the-counter pain medications, and cool compresses on the sores that appear during the outbreak.
6. Condom allergy
If you experience unexplained itching after sex, it could signify an allergic reaction. You may be allergic to the condom or any added ingredient you or your partner used. However, the most common culprit in condoms is latex.
Most often, a latex allergy develops after previous exposure to latex. The symptoms appear after sexual intercourse and likely manifest around the genital area where contact with the condom is most prevalent.
The most common local symptoms of a latex allergy can include the following:
- Redness and swelling
A latex allergy can also lead to a skin condition called allergic contact dermatitis, which presents as a rash and can even lead to blistering.
Besides, latex condom allergy can also provoke systemic symptoms:
- Runny nose
- Chest tightness
- Breathing difficulty
A condom allergy may result in anaphylaxis in extreme cases, requiring urgent medical care.
The best treatment for latex condom allergy is avoidance, or you can use latex-free condoms. If you notice itching or feel uncomfortable during sex while using a condom, you should stop and remove the condom.
If you experience only mild allergy reactions, your doctor may prescribe antihistamines to relieve your symptoms. When severe symptoms appear, you should seek medical attention immediately. In that situation, a doctor will use life-saving medication to prevent anaphylaxis.
Home remedies for vaginal itching
There are many several home remedies for vaginal itching, but the choice of the remedy depends solely on the cause of the vaginal itch. Some of the most helpful and most common remedies for the vaginal itch and swollen vagina include:
Baking Soda Bath
Baking soda baths can potentially treat and soothe certain itchy skin conditions, including vaginal itch. Dissolve between 1/4 cup to 2 cups of baking soda in your bath and soak in the mixture for 10 to 40 minutes.
Cold compresses or ice packs
Applying a cold compress or ice packs to the itchy area is going to help alleviate the itching, as well as the discomfort, without scratching. Apply cold compresses or ice packs only for about five minutes at a time with long breaks in between to avoid further irritating the skin.
An oatmeal bath
An oatmeal bath is a simple, effective, and inexpensive solution dealing with a variety of skin conditions and symptoms, one of which is itchiness. To make an oatmeal bath, grind oats on the highest setting of your food processor. Run a tub of lukewarm water and add the oats over the bottom of the tub, breaking clumps that appear. Soak for 15 to 20 minutes and pat yourself dry.
Coconut oil can soothe and moisturize the dry, swollen, and painful skin in your private area, helping ease the discomfort of persistent itchiness. For this remedy, apply a thick layer of coconut oil to your private area before going to bed; make sure to wear cotton underwear and shower in the morning.
When to see a doctor about your itchiness?
If you notice that you are experiencing vaginal or vulvar itching for more than a few days, but there is no weird or abnormal discharge, or if you experience frequent and unexplained itching after sex you should see your healthcare provider; they will be able to give you a pelvic exam and provide medical advice useful in your particular situation.
Even minor problems, such as razor burn or sweating irritation, can turn out to be something more serious, such as an infection that needs immediate treatment by an experienced health care provider.
Additionally, playing doctor and using the wrong treatment can further irritate your skin and lead to even more discomfort, itchiness, and more serious problems. In the case of your itching being accompanied by abnormal discharge or pelvic pain, it is very important to visit your health care provider right away; there is no reason to wait.
Why is my vulvar itching worse at night?
Vaginal itching can happen at any time of day, but to many women, it tends to seem more pronounced and intense at night. This happens because there are fewer distractions at night, making you hyper aware of the itching near the vagina, especially as you lie completely still and fall asleep.