How to Soothe Itching 'Down There'
If you have a vulva, chances are you’re familiar with that wave of panic that comes when you’re in a public setting and you feel a twinge below the belt. Not wanting to be crude, you resist the urge to scratch as the twinge escalates to a full-blown itch. You steel your nerves just long enough to find a safe haven in the nearest bathroom and scratch your way to sweet relief. Vulvovaginal itching is common at all ages and life stages, but menopause takes it to a whole new level. And while our mothers and grandmothers may have resolved themselves to “just live with it,” we don’t have to! So, here’s what you should know.
Why am I so itchy?
That itching, burning feeling can make it very tempting to head straight to the nearest drug store for an over-the-counter yeast infection remedy. But candida and bacterial vaginosis aren’t the only culprits behind vulvar and vaginal itching. Estrogen plays an important role in the production of both collagen and the natural oils that keep our skin barrier healthy. So as estrogen levels drop, our skin becomes dry, thin, and itchy. Dryness and itchiness can show up anywhere - arms, legs, chest, back - and of course, your most intimate skin is no exception.
How can I stop the itch?
The first step is to do no harm. Avoid certain ingredients that can further compromise your skin barrier or strip away essential moisture. Soap and many body washes have a pH that’s not compatible with vulvar skin and can lead to irritating skin conditions like contact dermatitis. Instead, opt for a gentle, sulfate-free cleanser like this one that lifts away impurities without stripping the skin barrier. It’s specifically formulated to target very dry, itchy, irritated skin anywhere you’ve got it with ingredients like clinically-active colloidal oatmeal, Saccharide Complex, and ceramides for immediate and long-lasting moisture.
To avoid that whole scratching in public fiasco, try ultra-concentrated Rescue Balm to instantly soothe and nourish dry, itchy vulvar skin. It’s made with clean, clinically active ingredients and 100% naturally-derived. And because it’s free from estrogen and hormones, it can safely complement prescription-based treatments. For everyday support, Hydrate Ever After is a lightweight serum that mimics the skin’s natural moisture to keep you comfortable throughout the day.
When should I see a doctor?
If you’ve got vulvar or vaginal itching that’s keeping you up at night or preventing you from living your normal life, or if you notice any blisters, sores, pain, tenderness, abnormal discharge or trouble urinating, contact your medical provider for help. Usually, a gynecologist is the one to call, but if they refer you to a dermatologist who doesn’t treat conditions “down there,” check out this list of providers who specialize in pelvic pain.