Treatment for itchiness of the vagina and vulva depends on the cause of the problem. A person can relieve some itching at home, but they will usually still need 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 a variety of reasons. Some home remedies may help relieve the itching, but they cannot heal the underlying cause.

Infections, for example, will usually require antibiotics for a bacterial infection or antifungal medications for a yeast infection. Vaginal itching is also a common symptom of menopause, and doctors can prescribe moisturizers or lubricants to help with this symptom.

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

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 even more.

2. Baking soda

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

The Australian Menopause Society (AMS) also suggests washing the vulva with a diluted solution of baking soda to help relieve itching. They recommend using a 1/2 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 that occurs due to dry skin or skin conditions, such as eczema.

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

4. Vitamin E

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

For example, a 2016 study on the effects of vitamin E suppositories concluded that they were successful in treating vaginal atrophy among women who had entered menopause. The term “vaginal atrophy” refers to drying, thinning, and inflammation of the vaginal walls.

Vitamin E for vaginal health comes in various forms, including suppositories and creams. The AMS also reports that vitamin E applied topically or taken orally 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 from the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care 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.

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

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

Vaginal itching can occur due to:

Irritants

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

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

Infections

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:

  • vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia
  • invasive squamous cell cancer of the vulva
  • vulvar melanoma

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.

Learn more about vulvar cancer.

Hormones

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 caused by other factors, including:

A person can help prevent vaginal and vulvar itchiness by:

  • using fragrance-free soap
  • wearing cotton underwear
  • choosing loose-fitting clothing
  • always 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

There are several things that a person should avoid to prevent or alleviate vaginal or vulvar itching, including:

  • douching
  • using sex toys when the area is itchy
  • wearing tight clothing, such as jeans
  • using scented products, such as bubble baths, tampons, or vaginal sprays
  • washing clothing with scented detergent
  • applying talcum powder to the genitals, as it may be linked 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

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.

What does it mean to have vulvar itching for months?

There are many different conditions that 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 is accompanied by 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?

Hydrocortisone cream is often prescribed to reduce itching caused by certain skin conditions, such as atopic dermatitis.

Keep in mind that this medication should be applied to the vulva in small amounts and should only be used as directed by a medical professional.