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Women's Health

Why Do I Have A Severe Itch in Pubic Area?

09/19/2011

Question:

I have read your responses, but am not sure--I itch severely where the pubic hair is attached to the vagina. I have tried creams, no lice or stds, use water, but I itch and scratch until I bleed it is that severe. I had a hysterectomy in 2006 and am miserable.

Answer:

Vulvar itching could be due to a variety of skin conditions.  It sounds like you have already ruled out an infection or infestation, but organisms such as pubic lice ("crabs"), scabies and yeast are some of the most common reasons for itching that severely.

It is also possible to have an allergic reaction to any product that comes in contact with that skin, such as menstrual pads, soap, shaving creams, detergents, etc.  Be sure that you are using a product free of dyes or fragrances.

Other skin conditions that affect the vulva can also itch severely.  These changes, such as psoriasis, lichen sclerosus, or vulvar dystrophy, can be diagnosed by a skin biopsy, and are treatable with topical medications.

Finally it is important to rule out a cancer or precancer of the vulvar skin, which can sometimes have itching as the first symptom.  Therefore, it is important to see a physician if this problem continues so that you can have a thorough exam.

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Response by:

Jonathan  A Schaffir, MD Jonathan A Schaffir, MD
Clnical Assistant Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University