What causes genital itching?

Genital itching can be a symptom of many conditions. These may include vaginal infections in females or jock itch in males. In either sex, itching can be caused by skin irritation, sexually transmitted diseases, and allergies.

In many cases, genital itching that is caused by irritation will clear up on its own if the irritants (lotions, soaps) are removed. Other causes of itching may require more intensive treatment. If you are concerned about genital itching that does not go away, talk to your doctor or another healthcare professional.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/28/2015.


  • International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease. Genital Itch in Women Accessed 1/28/2015.
  • American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. Fungus Infections Accessed 1/28/2015.
  • DermNet New Zealand Trust. Itchy Vulva (Pruritus Vulvae) Accessed 1/28/2015.
  • DermNet New Zealand Trust. Balanitis Accessed 1/28/2015.
  • Berger TG. Dermatologic Disorders. In: Papadakis MA, McPhee SJ, Rabow MW. eds. Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2015. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2014. library.ccf.org Accessed 1/28/2015.

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