Itching in the genital area can be embarrassing and uncomfortable. You may be wondering if something is wrong or if you need to seek official medical treatment. Usually, itchiness is a common occurrence and not often a sign of something more concerning.
If you do decide to reach out to your physician, it’s difficult to even begin this conversation. What’s the best way to describe your discomfort and experience? How do you know where to begin and what to say?
Let’s review common symptoms and home remedies if you want to try to DIY ditch the itch.
Common Causes of Itch
Wondering about the why behind the itch? Here are some common issues many people face that may help set your mind at ease or give you clear next steps.
Yeast infections occur when the body overproduces a yeast called candidiasis and occurs when there is a pH imbalance, especially in women. This infection thrives in warm and moist skin folds making the genital area prime real estate, though it also makes an appearance in between fingers and toes.
Though this condition is most common in females, it’s not exclusive to that gender. Women that have contracted a yeast infection may experience itching as well as vaginal discharge, and possibly a burning sensation when urinating.
For ongoing, persistent symptoms or recurring infections, seek medical attention. To relieve symptoms of a yeast infection, consider these options:
- Stay dry and cool as much as possible
- Use a drying agent such as talcum powder
- Try a topical antifungal cream
- Seek medical evaluation for an oral antibiotic Rx
Jock itch is common among athletes and is caused by the growth of a fungal infection. Fungus flourishes in a warm and moist environment. Unfortunately, that’s exactly the kind of environment your nether region provides.
It makes its appearance as a pink or red rash with darker edges and is often scaly and can even blister. This is what causes the itchiness and over time can be painful. Jock itch crops up in the genital area, buttock, inner thighs, and in the backside crease.
Conditions may worsen due to the tightness of clothing and the friction this causes. If you’re more obese and your skin often rubs together or if you live in a warm, humid environment.
If you’re struggling with jock itch, try a few of these remedies:
- Keep the area dry, after showers and as needed
- Try an anti-fungal jock itch cream from the drugstore
- Consult a dermatologist for persistent or acute symptoms
Itching after shaving: Razor Burn
Razor burn can occur anywhere on your body where you shave with a razor. If this is how you groom your downstairs, you may experience razor burn and the accompanying itchiness.
Shaving and even waxing can actually tear the skin and cause inflammation. This can also lead to pustules, ingrown hairs, and skin lesions which may cause further discomfort and itchiness.
If you are frequently dealing with razor burn, try these prevention hacks:
- Take your time and shave more slowly
- Don’t use a dull razor and rinse often during shaving
- Give yourself a break and skip a shave or two
- Use extra cream or lubricant
- Pat dry after shaving, don’t rub
- Shave with your hair growth, not against it
- Soak before you shave
- Exfoliate on day 2-3
Crabs AKA Scabies or Body Lice
Lice in your pubes is one of the more uncomfortable and embarassing causes of jock itch, especially if you are sexually active. Like head lice, crabs are living insects that take up residence in the gential area, armpits, and even in facial hair where they burrow into your skin.
Though they don’t spread as quickly as head lice, these creatures will spread through close physical contact and sharing bed linens or clothing with infected persons. Crabs cause itchiness and it’s tough to resist so it’s imperative that you seek treatment as quickly as possible.
Itching due to crabs can create skin tears where you risk introducing bacteria into your bloodstream and contracting an infection. If you contract pubic lice, try these remedies:
- Try over-the-counter topical creams
- Anti-lice shampoos that are safe for genital use
- See a physician is symptoms and inhabitation persists
Psoriasis isn’t specific to the down under region, it can appear anywhere on your body and is most common for people that have it in other places. When it appears in the trunk area, it is generally found on the scrotum, anus, vulva, upper thighs, penis, and the buttocks crack.
Pubic area psoriasis may be different in appearance from other parts of the body. You may experience more soreness and itchiness but see a less scaly appearance. Your skin in the private domain is more sensitive and moist compared to other common psoriasis areas such as the elbows and knees.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, it’s important to seek treatment from a dermatologist as early as possible to develop a custom treatment plan and begin relieving symptoms. Prescribed treatments include corticosteroid ointments of varying strengths, upgrading to stronger, oral treatments and biologics such as cyclosporine, or methotrexate as needed.
There are two categories of dermatitis, contact dermatitis and allergic dermatitis. Contact dermatitis can develop in reaction to an irritant and will become scaly and dry. Allergic dermatitis is often caused by fragrant body care products, latex, and even plants such as poison ivy and poison oak.
Symptoms of contact dermatitis manifest as burning, inflammation, and severe itchiness. Allergic dermatitis symptoms are similar but may also include pain and blistering.
To treat dermatitis, avoid using highly-fragrant creams, sprays, or wipes that could irritate sensitive skin. If over-the-counter topical itch creams don’t give you relief, see your dermatologist.
When Pubic Hair Grows Back: How To Stop The Itch
If you’ve committed to the bare skin look in the pubic area in the past but have decided to go all natural once again, there are a few things you should be prepared to encounter.
While there are varying opinions on whether to sport any hair down there or not, it can serve a purpose. The strategically placed strands reduce friction during sex and can aid in temperature regulation. For example, when you shave your head, it can get chilly up there. The same is true with genital hair.
Be forewarned however, there is often a very itching growing out phase due to pubic hair being thick and coarse. To get past this awkward stage and complete a grow out, let’s review a few itch remedies.
Remember this is just a phase! Here are a few simple at home remedies to try that can give immediate relief.
Maintain excellent hygiene practices and keep your downstairs clean and dry. Don’t dry or rub aggressively but rather pat to dry to avoid further irritation.
Apply a cold compress to the itchy area and leave it for fifteen or twenty minutes. Make a compress with a cool wet rag that’s been wrung out or a freezer pack that’s safely and adequately wrapped to prevent freezing or frostbite.
Many itch sufferers also find success with the application of natural oils. Natural oils hydrate and soften the skin which can relieve the dry and itching pubic area. Common oils for this use are avocado oil, olive oil, and coconut oil.
If you’d rather stay out of the kitchen for treatment and stick with common body products, try unscented moisturizers and lotions. Make sure they do not contain alcohol to prevent increased irritation.
Drug Store Remedies
Pop down to the local drug store and look for these itch relievers.
Hydrocortisone cream is a frequent go-to solution for any body itch concerns. Most over-the-counter creams contain only a miniscule amount of the actual steroid in the name but it can still provide relief for mild symptoms.
Drug store antihistamines may also relieve itchiness related to pubic hair regrowth. Choose brands that are made with non-drowsy ingredients to avoid undesirable nap times.
Antifungal creams are similar to hydrocortisone creams but contain a different active ingredient. These can be purchased over-the-counter or by prescription for more severe cases.
Consult A Dermatologist
If you’re experiencing any of these genital area itch concerns and you’re not comfortable with DIY treatments, or they haven’t worked for you, make an appointment with your dermatologist to begin strong treatment options.
Or if you’re experiencing something different from these common issues and believe you may be facing something more serious, do not hesitate to seek urgent care or call your doctor right away.
You may be prescribed an oral antibiotic to reduce possible infection as well as relieve itch symptoms. Depending on the type and dosage, your symptoms could be relieved or completely cleared in a very short amount of time.
Itchy After Shaving: The Takeaway
We get it, itchy pubes are an embarrassing and awkward issue to deal with. Many of these concerns can be cured or alleviated with simple, but effective body care routines and over-the-counter solutions.
Keep your downstairs clean and happy! This is the most practical way to avoid the itch.