Treatment for an itchy vagina and vulva will depend on the cause. Home remedies may help, such as adding baking soda or oatmeal to a warm bath, but it is usually best to contact a doctor for a complete treatment.

The vagina, the vulva, or both can itch. The vulva is the external part of the female genitals, including the clitoris, the labia, and the opening of the vagina. Healthcare professionals refer to vulvar itching as “pruritus vulvae.”

Vulvovaginal itching can occur for various reasons. Some home remedies may help relieve the itching but cannot heal the underlying cause.

For example, antibiotics are usually required for bacterial infections or antifungal medications for yeast infections. Vaginal itching is also a common symptom of menopause, and doctors can prescribe moisturizers or lubricants to help ease this symptom.

This article discusses the scientific evidence behind some common home remedies for vaginal and vulvar itching and when to contact a doctor.

A tablespoon of baking soda, which can be used as a home remedy for vaginal and vulvar itchingShare on Pinterest
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Vaginal itching can occur due to the following:


The most common cause of an itchy vulva is irritant contact dermatitis. This can happen due to:

  • harsh soap and other products
  • frequent washing
  • frequent or lasting contact with urine
  • scratching
  • rubbing


Some infections that can cause itching of the vagina, vulva, or both include:

Skin conditions

Skin issues that can cause vaginal itching include:

Vulvar cancer

In rare cases, persistent itching on the vulva could be a sign of vulvar cancer, a type of cancer that forms on the external female genitalia.

Some specific types of vulvar cancers and precancers that could cause itching include:

Other signs of vulvar cancer may include burning or bleeding on the vulva, skin changes, and pain in the pelvis, especially when urinating or having sex.


Low estrogen levels can cause the skin to become itchy, dry, or irritated.

This is especially common during menopause, as the tissues of the vulva and the lining of the vagina become thinner due to hormone changes.

A decline in estrogen levels may also be due to other factors, including:

The following are some common home remedies that a person can use to soothe vulvovaginal itching:

1. Bath oil

Sometimes, dry skin can lead to an itchy vulva.

The National Eczema Association (NEA) advises that adding gentle oils to bathwater can help moisturize the skin.

However, a person should avoid any bath oil that contains fragrance, which can irritate the area further.

2. Baking soda

According to the NEA, adding a ¼ cup of baking soda to a bath or applying it to the skin as a paste is a common way to relieve itching.

The International Menopause Society (IMS) also suggests washing the vulva with a diluted solution of baking soda to help relieve itching. They recommend using a ½ teaspoon of baking soda per 1 liter of water.

Baking soda may help relieve vulvar itching due to dry skin. It may also help a person get relief from itching related to active lesions of genital herpes. However, a person will likely also need medication to manage outbreaks.

Learn more about treatments for herpes.

3. Oatmeal

Adding oatmeal to a bath can also help ease vulvar itching due to dry skin or skin conditions such as eczema.

A small 2015 study involving 29 female participants concluded that using colloidal oatmeal significantly reduced the intensity of the itch.

4. Vitamin E

Research from 2015 indicates that vitamin E may help relieve itching in the vulva or vagina caused by atopic dermatitis or menopause.

For example, a 2022 study found that vitamin E may be an effective short-term treatment for genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM), a condition that results from hormonal shifts during menopause. Symptoms of the condition include irritation, itching, vaginal dryness.

However, the researchers noted that more high quality placebo-controlled studies are necessary to clarify the efficacy, ideal dosing, and safety of vitamin E.

Vitamin E for vaginal health comes in various forms, including suppositories and creams. The IMS also reports that topical or oral vitamin E has this effect.

5. Yogurt and honey

Yogurt contains a type of bacteria called Lactobacillus, which also live in the genitals.

Some evidence suggests that applying a mixture of yogurt and honey to the vulva or inside the vagina can help treat fungal infections that may be responsible for vaginal itching.

A small 2015 study concluded that yeast infection symptoms seemed to improve in participants who used a mixture of a vaginal cream, yogurt, and honey.

A newer 2021 study has suggested that the effect of honey and yogurt is just as effective, if not more effective, at managing vagina yeast as the prescription medication clotrimazole.

However, the authors of a 2019 article cautioned that there is still too little evidence to support using yogurt in this way.

6. Garlic

Some people believe that taking garlic capsules or even putting garlic inside the vagina can help prevent or treat bacterial or fungal infections.

A 2015 review warned that there is a lack of evidence that this remedy works and may have adverse effects, including burns and allergic reactions.

However, a 2018 case report did show that a subject’s vaginal infection went away after using garlic in this manner.

A person can help prevent vaginal and vulvar itchiness by:

  • using fragrance-free soap
  • wearing cotton underwear
  • choosing loose-fitting clothing
  • wiping from front to back
  • changing out of damp workout clothes as soon as possible
  • using barrier methods, such as condoms, during sex to avoid sexually transmitted infections
  • using water-soluble lubricant
  • avoiding douching
  • avoiding using sex toys when the area is itchy
  • avoiding scented products, such as bubble baths, tampons, detergent, or vaginal sprays
  • avoiding applying talcum powder to the genitals, as it may have a link to ovarian cancer

Home remedies can help ease itchiness in the vagina and vulva but cannot treat the underlying cause.

Therefore, most causes of vaginal itching require medical attention.

A person should contact a medical professional if the itching is persistent, especially if it occurs with any of the following:

  • foul-smelling vaginal discharge
  • thick yellow, green, or white discharge
  • burning and swelling of the vulva
  • pain during urination
  • pain during sex

Below are some common questions about vaginal and vulvar itching.

What does it mean to have vulvar itching for months?

Many different conditions can cause prolonged vulvar itching, including:

  • changes in hormone levels
  • skin conditions
  • certain types of infections

If a person experiences persistent vulvar itching, they should speak with a medical professional, especially if it involves other symptoms, such as pain or unusual discharge.

How does someone stop vulvar or vaginal itching right away?

Many home remedies can help alleviate vulvar or vaginal itching, including the use of baking soda, bath oils, or colloidal oatmeal.

However, while these home remedies may temporarily reduce itching, medical treatment may still be necessary to address the underlying cause.

What is the best itching cream for the vaginal area?

Doctors often prescribe hydrocortisone cream to reduce itching caused by certain skin conditions, such as atopic dermatitis.

Keep in mind that a person should apply this medication to the vulva in small amounts and only use it as directed by a medical professional.

Does Vaseline stop itching down there?

Refrigerated petroleum jelly (Vaseline) on an unscented sanitary pad may be soothing for an itchy or irritated vagina or vulva.

However, a person applying products to the vulva should do so with caution. Some older research links using Vaseline with an increased risk of vaginal health issues such as bacterial vaginosis.

A person should also avoid using anything inside the vagina as this can worsen irritation, itching, or discharge.

Most causes of vaginal itching require some form of medical treatment. In the meantime, a person can take steps at home to ease the itching, such as using vitamin E or colloidal oatmeal.

There are also ways to avoid some causes of vaginal and vulvar itching, such as using fragrance-free soaps and other products.