Vulvar and Vaginal Itching: Causes, Pathology, and Treatment
There are several potential causes of vulvar and vaginal itching, including:
- Emotional problems that affect the liver, leading to stagnation of liver qi and, eventually, heat in the liver channel that affects the external genitalia
- Irregular diet, particularly excessive consumption of dairy and greasy foods, which can cause dampness in the lower burner and lead to itching
- Excessive physical work or sports, which can weaken the spleen and lead to the accumulation of dampness
- Working long hours without adequate rest, which can cause deficiency of liver and kidney yin and lead to dryness and itching of the vulva
The pathology of vulvar itching is often characterized by dampness, which may be related to the liver or spleen channels. In cases of deficiency, the liver and kidneys are the organs most commonly involved, and the symptoms may include dryness and the development of internal wind that causes itching.
Identification of patterns and treatment
The main patterns of vulvar itching are:
- Damp-heat in the liver channel, which is characterized by intense vulvar or vaginal itching, yellow vaginal discharge, and mental restlessness
- Dampness and spleen qi deficiency, which is characterized by vulvar and vaginal itching, a slight white vaginal discharge, and tiredness
- Liver and kidney yin deficiency, which is characterized by slight itching of the vulva and vagina with a burning sensation and dryness of the vagina
Treatment of these patterns may involve acupuncture, herbal medicine, and other therapeutic methods to clear the liver, drain dampness, and nourish yin, among other goals.
Prognosis and prevention
Both acupuncture and herbal medicine can be effective in treating vulvar and vaginal itching, but it may take several weeks or months to achieve complete resolution of the problem, particularly if it is caused by fungal infections or other underlying conditions. To prevent recurrence, it is important to address the underlying causes and maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle.
In Western medicine, vulvar and vaginal itching is often treated with antifungal medications, steroids, or other drugs to relieve the symptoms. However, the underlying causes of the itching may not always be addressed, and long-term use of these medications can have negative side effects.