Itching in the genital area can be very embarrassing especially when in a public place. It is a feeling on the skin that makes one want to scratch and it has no respect for anyone. Every woman has experienced slight itch around the vulva (area outside the vagina) once or twice in her lifetime. When the itch becomes consistent causing distress, it’s called Pruritus Vulvae. When the itching becomes too consistent, it leads to vigorous scratching that can break the skin or cause soreness giving room for infection. Sometimes, this itching occurs more at night while asleep or at work during a serious business meeting. There are different causes of vaginal/vulva itching, but most women believe yeast, candidiasis and Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) cause it. Although it’s one of the many symptoms of the mentioned infections, but itching around the vaginal/vulva area might have other causes: Other causes of Vaginal/Vulva Itching 1. Skin conditions: Some skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, lichen simplex, lichen planus and lichen sclerosus can also irritate the vulva/ vagina. 2. Sensitization of the vulva skin: The kind of soaps, perfumes, deodorants, excessive sweat, condoms, wet wipes, textile dyes, detergents, fabric conditioners, sanitary wear, used on that area can also trigger itching 3. Urinary incontinence: This can make the skin of the vulva moist and irritated. In little girls, a particularly common cause is careless or inadequate washing or drying of the area, and wiping the bottom in the ‘wrong’ direction (towards the front). Scrubbing too vigorously with toilet tissue can also contribute. 4. Menopause: Because of lower oestrogen levels, the vulval skin tends to become thinner and drier after the menopause, and this can make it prone to itch. 5. Pregnancy: This can also cause itch due to vulval engorgement. There is also an increased risk of vaginal discharge and thrush during pregnancy, which may also cause itch. 6. Breast-feeding: During this period, a woman have itch around the vagina too due to low oestrogen levels. 7. Any cause of a generalized body itch: This may also cause itching of the vulva. For example, a generalized body itch may be a side effect of some medicines or due to some blood disorders, thyroid problems or kidney or liver disease. 8. Diabetes: It can cause itch in the vulval area, particularly if the diabetes is not well controlled and sugar levels are tending to run high. 9. Lichen sclerosus: Is a condition of the vulva that causes itching and soreness and is more often seen in women with immune conditions such as thyroid disorders or diabetes. 10. Cancer of the vulval skin is an uncommon cause. Usually in these cases a small lump or nodule is present. 11. Unknown causes: In some cases, including some severe cases, no cause can be found. Treatment: Never ever try to give self-medication, visit your doctor for proper diagnosis to avoid further damage to the vagina.