How can genital itching be avoided?
Females should take the following steps to help avoid genital itching:
- After urination or bowel movements, wipe from front to back to prevent bacteria from the anus (rectum) entering the vagina.
- Avoid chemical products such as vaginal douches or feminine hygiene sprays, which can upset the acidic balance of the vagina.
- Avoid the use of excessive amounts of laundry detergent in the washing machine.
- Stay away from over-the-counter itch blockers, as these products can make the itching worse in the long term.
- If you suspect a lubricant might be worsening the itching, talk to your doctor about the best options.
- Avoid trauma to the area, such as excessive shaving and scratching.
- Eat a well-balanced diet to maintain healthy bacteria in the vagina.
Males should take the following steps to help avoid genital itching:
- Wash the penis well, including the area under the foreskin in uncircumcised men.
- If you sweat throughout the day, consider changing underwear frequently.
Both males and females should take the following steps to help prevent genital itching:
- Keep the genital area clean and dry. Use mild soap, or better yet, avoid soap completely, and rinse well with water. Avoid over-cleaning the vaginal area.
- Wear loose, natural-fiber underwear and clothing. Change underwear at least every 24 hours.
- Dry off thoroughly after bathing and swimming. Avoid staying in wet clothing for long periods of time.
- Avoid unprotected sex, especially if you are worried that you or your partner might have an infection.