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Persistent itching of the vagina and frequently the surrounding area (vulva).
Persons most commonly affected: Any age group in females.
Organ or part of body involved: Vagina, vulva.
Symptoms and indications: Persistent itching of the vagina and frequently the surrounding area (vulva), which is generally relieved through scratching in the initial stages. At a later stage, the patient develops a burning sensation in this region. This can intensify to such an extent that women suffering from this complaint prefer to remain indoors and refuse to go out. This problem occurs more during the night. The patient may scratch the area during sleep and wake to find that she has made herself bleed.
Causes and risk factors: A chemical irritant or medication (including detergents and fabric softeners, chemical sprays, ointments, creams, douches, and contraceptive foams), vaginal infection in conjunction with antibiotic use, vaginitis (vaginal yeast infection), discharge caused by other vaginal infections such as trichomonas vaginitis and hemophilus vaginalis, menopause (in women older than 35 (typically) years of age), as a result of decreasing levels of estrogen, pruritus vulvae, or pinworms.
Prevention: Keep the genital area clean and dry, use plain unscented soap, take showers rather than tub baths, Wear cotton panties or pantyhose with a cotton crotch (Avoid panties made from nonventilating materials), for infants and toddlers, change diapers often, don