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Vaginal itching can be a symptom of many conditions. It could be caused by something like vaginal dryness or chemical irritants, such as the ones found in scented soaps. Itching can also be the result of a yeast infection, bacterial vaginosis, a sexually transmitted infection (STI), or something else.

There are many home remedies for an itchy vagina, but the remedy you choose will depend on the cause of the itch.

For example, if there’s an itch inside your vagina, it could be a yeast infection. If the itch is on the skin around the vagina, it could be caused by eczema or another skin condition.

It’s important to know when to see a doctor, but in the meantime, here are 10 home remedies for vaginal itching.

Baking soda bath

Baking soda baths can potentially treat yeast infections as well as certain itchy skin conditions.

According to a 2012 study, baking soda has antifungal effects. A 2014 study found that baking soda killed Candida cells, the same cells that cause yeast infections.

The National Eczema Foundation recommends adding 1/4 cup of baking soda to your bath, or making it into a paste and applying it to your skin to treat eczema.

A study from 2005 found baking soda baths to be an effective treatment for psoriasis, too.

Greek yogurt

Greek yogurt is a common home remedy for yeast infections.

A probiotic yogurt promotes the growth of “good” bacteria in the vagina. This bacteria can kill off some yeast and keep your vagina healthy.

A 2012 study looked at 129 pregnant women with yeast infections. Researchers gave 82 participants a yogurt and honey treatment and 47 participants an over-the-counter antifungal cream. The study found that a mixture of honey and yogurt was more effective at treating vaginal yeast infections than over-the-counter antifungal medication.

A 2015 study involving 70 non-pregnant women reached the same conclusion: Yogurt and honey was more effective than commercial antifungal cream.

Cotton underwear

Cotton underwear is helpful if you have any sort of vaginal or vulvar discomfort. Cotton underwear is breathable, which means that it can help reduce itchy skin conditions.

Wearing 100 percent cotton underwear might prevent yeast infections, as yeast thrives in areas that aren’t well ventilated.

Apple cider vinegar bath

If you’re searching the internet looking for how to relieve vaginal itching, chances are you’ll find apple cider vinegar listed as a cure-all.

Many people believe that adding apple cider vinegar to your bath can soothe a yeast infection. It’s also a common home remedy for itchy skin.

Unfortunately, there’s little evidence to support this claim. Nevertheless, it’s a cheap remedy to try, and one that has no known side effects.

Probiotic supplements

Bacteria is essential for vaginal health, and probiotics can increase the “good” bacteria in your vagina.

You can find probiotic supplements, such as capsules and tonics, at your local drugstore or health store or online. These promote the growth of healthy and helpful bacteria in your vagina and gut.

These can be taken as a preventative measure, too. Your doctor might recommend taking probiotics when they prescribe antibiotics.

Coconut oil

A 2016 study demonstrated that coconut oil can kill Candida albicans, which causes yeast infections. However, this study was done in a lab, and there isn’t enough evidence to confirm whether it works in humans.

Antifungal cream

If a yeast infection is causing you discomfort, there are many over-the-counter antifungal creams that can bring you relief. They kill off the yeast, which soothes the itch. They can also come in the form of vaginal suppositories, which are inserted into the vagina.

If you use an antifungal cream or suppository in your vagina, it’s best to wear a pantyliner.

Cortisone cream

If you’re itchy after shaving pubic hair, cortisone cream might be your best bet. This can also be used to treat eczema, allergic skin conditions, and some rashes. It reduces the itch and soothes it.

Cortisone cream should never be applied inside your vagina but can be applied to the skin outside it where pubic hair grows.

Probiotic foods

Eating food that contains probiotics can promote the growth of “healthy” bacteria in your vagina and gut. This is important for your vagina and your gut health.

Probiotic foods include:

  • yogurt
  • kombucha
  • kimchi
  • sauerkraut
  • miso

If you have a yeast infection, eating the above foods can help your body fight it.

Hygiene

Practicing good vaginal hygiene can prevent and soothe an itchy vagina.

Sometimes, less is more when it comes to washing your vagina and vulva. Your vagina cleans itself, so all you need to do is wash the outside of your vagina — your vulva — with some warm water.

Do not use scented soaps, gels, or cleansers. Avoid even those that are marketed as feminine hygiene or intimate cleansers. Vaginal douching should only be done if your doctor prescribes it.

Douching and over-washing your vagina and vulva can actually cause itchiness. Soaps and scents can irritate the vagina and cause allergic reactions and infections.

Vaginal itchiness is often due to one of these common causes:

Yeast infection

If you have a vagina, there’s a chance that you’ll get a yeast infection at some point in your life. Other than itching, yeast infections can cause you to have a thick, white, cottage cheese-like discharge.

Bacterial vaginosis

This happens when a certain kind of bacteria overgrows in the vagina, most commonly Gardnerella vaginalis.

Bacterial vaginosis is often accompanied by a fishy odor, burning during urination, and discharge that is gray, white, or green.

Vaginal dryness

This is a symptom of many conditions. It can cause your vagina to feel itchy inside. It can also cause discomfort during sex or masturbation.

Water-based lubricants can help with vaginal dryness. You can visit your doctor if it seems to be a consistent problem for you.

Exposure to irritants

Irritating chemicals in pads, intimate washes, sprays, and more can irritate the skin and cause an itchy vagina. This is why it’s recommended that you avoid using anything other than water to wash your vulva.

If you suspect your pad is irritating your skin, try a different brand, or switch to tampons or a menstrual cup.

Skin conditions

Eczema, psoriasis, and dry skin can often lead to itchiness — and can affect your pubic area and the skin around your vulva.

STIs

A number of STIs could cause vaginal itching. These include:

The above conditions require medical attention, so speak to your doctor if you think you have an STI.

While an itchy vagina can often be treated by home remedies, you might have to see a doctor if you have certain symptoms. These symptoms include:

  • pain or burning during sex or urination
  • pain in the genital area or pelvic region
  • genital redness or swelling
  • blisters or strange spots on your vulva
  • unusual vaginal discharge, especially discharge that is green, yellow, or gray
  • discharge that looks frothy or has a cottage cheese–like texture
  • a foul odor

Typically, your doctor will ask about your symptoms and take a look at your medical history. They might perform a pelvic exam, which involves examining your vulva and vagina.

If you don’t already have an OB-GYN, our Healthline FindCare tool can help you connect to physicians in your area.

There’s a lot of unreliable information on the internet when it comes to treating vaginal itch. Some remedies are worse than others. Here are three you should always avoid.

Douches and feminine hygiene sprays

Lots of feminine hygiene sprays contain perfumes and ingredients that can worsen itch and inflame the delicate skin around the vagina and genital area.

Most doctors also recommend that you do not douche. Douching can change the necessary balance of vaginal flora (bacteria that live in the vagina) and natural acidity in a healthy vagina.

Scented clothing detergents

Perfumes and synthetic ingredients are a common cause of genital itching. Look at the ingredients in your laundry soap or any soap in the bath. If it has ingredients you don’t recognize, ditch that brand.

A good resource is the Environmental Working Group, which lists allergens and other chemicals in specific brands of soap (among many other consumer products).

Talcum powder

There was a time in the not-too-distant past when it was believed talcum powder was a wonder product for moisture in hard-to-reach places.

It was used to diaper babies and for vaginal itch. After years of use, it was discovered to have a link to ovarian cancer, as this article explains.

Can you put itching cream on your vagina?

You should not put itching cream, known as hydrocortisone creams, inside your vagina. They can increase inflammation, and the skin on this part of the body is sensitive.

You can use these creams on the outside of the genital area for relief.

Can you put Vaseline on your vagina to stop itching?

No. Vaseline, or petroleum jelly, is an oil-based ointment. There have been some studies that link Vaseline with an increased risk of vaginal health issues, such as bacterial vaginosis.

How can you stop itching down there at night?

Vaginal itching may seem worse at night, because there are fewer distractions, and we tend to be relaxing before bed. Take a bath and change into cotton clothing. If you’re taking an over-the-counter medication, know that these treatments can make symptoms worse.

Scratching the area, or excessive bathing might make itching worse, according to this 2012 article.

There are many effective home remedies for an itchy vagina, from Greek yogurt to coconut oil. Some of these remedies may work better than others. Be sure to avoid methods like douching and using talcum powder.

If you have any unusual or unexplained symptoms, or if you’re simply wondering how to stop vaginal itching, see your doctor.

Read this article in Spanish.