You may routinely pamper your face and work hard to keep it moisturized and irritation-free, but what have you done lately for the more sensitive skin of your vulva, the external genital area surrounding your vagina? Many women have been primed to think no further than "itch equals yeast infection. These conditions aren't getting the medical attention they need — and women aren't getting the relief they deserve. The vulva Latin for womb or covering consists of several layers that cover and protect the sexual organs and urinary opening. The fleshy outer lips of the vulva — the labia majora — are covered with pubic hair and contain fat that helps cushion the area.
Anogenital pruritus is defined as intense itching, acute or chronic, affecting the anal, perianal, perineal and genital skin, which is a dominant problem in the course of various cutaneous and systemic conditions. It is one of the common, extremely annoying symptom for which patients attend the Dermatology Outpatient Department OPD. Anogenital skin is highly sensitive to soaps, perfumes, clothing and superficial trauma and it is more prone for itchy dermatoses as a result of warmth, friction, lack of aeration, sweating and occlusive inner garments. Anogenital pruritus is associated with a wide spectrum of diseases which includes localized infections, infestations, inflammatory dermatoses, allergic and irritant conditions, anorectal diseases, systemic causes, nutritional disorders, psychological and when the cause cannot be found out it is often termed idiopathic.
Vulva is the general name given to the external parts of the female genitals. All women have vaginal discharge or secretions which help to keep the vulva and vagina moist and remove bacteria and dead cells. If your vulva feels irritated, however, it is important to seek advice from your doctor as to what might be causing the irritation.
Vulvar itching can be uncomfortable and cause a person to lose sleep at night. Although some of the conditions that cause vulvar itching may worsen at night, it is more likely that the itchiness gets worse during this time because a person has fewer distractions. Without daytime diversions, the itchiness can seem more intense.