Why Am I So Dry and Itchy Down There?

It can be so bothersome when you feel so dry and itchy there. It is possible that your first instinct might be to suppose that you have a yeast infection and rush to the next drugstore for an over-the-counter antifungal medication.

You might be doing yourself more harm than good if your symptoms are not caused by yeast but by some other micro-organism.

Vaginal itching can occasionally occur and usually resolves without treatment; however, if it persists, you’ll need to consult a healthcare professional for proper treatment.

Why You Might Be Feeling So Dry and Itchy Down There

There are several reasons why you might feel dry and itchy down there when you don’t have a vaginal yeast infection. Below are the most common causes that might explain your symptoms.

Contact Dermatitis

This is one of the most common causes of vaginal itches. You may want to check whether you’ve recently changed your soap. If yes, you may have contact dermatitis.

Contact dermatitis is a red, itchy rash caused by direct contact with a substance or an allergic reaction to it. The rash cannot be passed from one person to another, and it isn’t potentially fatal. However, it can make you feel very uncomfortable.

Many substances can cause contact dermatitis. here’s a list of things that can cause this condition:

  • Soaps
  • Cosmetic products
  • Scented toilet tissue
  • Tight underwear
  • Latex condoms and diaphragms
  • Vaginal lubricants and spermicides
  • Laundry detergent
  • Fabric softeners
  • Shampoo and body wash
  • Fragrances
  • Jewelry
  • Plants

If there is too much friction between your vagina and underwear or clothes when you perform some activities such as horse riding and bicycle riding, this may also lead to contact dermatitis.

If you can identify the cause of contact dermatitis and eliminate it, your symptoms can resolve without treatment. Otherwise, it may be necessary that you visit your doctor so that they can identify the cause and provide treatment accordingly.

Bacterial Vaginosis

Bacterial vaginosis is a common vaginal infection in women of childbearing age. However, it can affect women of any age.

Under normal circumstances, “good” and “bad bacteria live in the vagina. If there is an imbalance, there may be an overgrowth of the “bad” bacteria, resulting in an infection (also known as bacterial vaginosis).

Although scientists do not really understand why some women get bacterial vaginosis, some activities such as unprotected sex or frequent douching increases the risk of getting this infection.

Some women with bacterial vaginosis have no signs or symptoms. Other women may experience the following:

  • Vaginal itching
  • Thin white, gray, or green vaginal discharge
  • A foul, fishy vaginal odor
  • Burning sensation when you urinate

To determine whether you have bacterial vaginosis, you’ll need to consult a doctor, who will perform a vaginal examination and/or request an examination of your vaginal mucus to rule out other sexually transmitted infections.

Low Estrogen Levels

Women’s estrogen levels decline as they grow older. When the levels of estrogen decrease, this may cause thinning of the vaginal lining, resulting in itching and irritation.

If you’re a breastfeeding mom, you may experience vaginal dryness and itching. This is because breastfeeding also causes a decline in estrogen levels.

Generally, you should no longer experience the symptoms when you stop breast-feeding and estrogen levels get back to normal.

Lichen Sclerosus

Lichen sclerosus is an uncommon condition that typically affects the genital and anal areas. When it affects the genital area, it may be accompanied by itching and patchy, white spots on the vulvar area.

If you have lichen sclerosus, you’ll need to see your gynecologist because if the condition is not treated, it may result in complications such as vaginal scarring, blister formation, painful sex, and cancer of the vulva.  

Pubic Lice or Crabs

These parasites can spread easily and affect the genital organs, causing itching and red spots. Apart from the genital area, they may also affect other body areas that are covered in coarse hair, such as the eyebrows, a beard, or hair on the abdomen.

If you have public lice, you can treat it with an lice-killing lotion containing 1% permethrin or a mousse containing pyrethrins and piperonyl butoxide.

You should see a doctor first if you’re pregnant. over-the-counter lice. If you have a severe infestation, you may require a prescription medication.

How Can You Maintain a Healthy Vagina?

  • Avoid using douches
  • Wash your vaginal area with water at least once every day
  • Avoid using scented personal products in your genital area
  • Avoid wearing tight underwear; wear comfortable cotton underwear—cotton is considered the gold standard of breathable underwear
  • Avoid using perfumed feminine hygiene sprays down there
  • If you have more than one sexual partner, use protection during intercourse; note that this will however not prevent public lice
  • Visit a gynecologist regularly for checkups

Final Words

Do not suppose that you have a yeast infection if you experience vaginal itches. If you’re unsure, you should see a healthcare professional or gynecologist so that they can determine the cause and provide appropriate treatment. You should also consider consulting a doctor if your symptoms persist after using over-the-counter medications.


I’m Princila, founder of Check Ovulation and a proud mom of two. I’m an alumna of James Lind Institute. After working in clinical jobs, my passion for writing took its toll, and I ended up switching careers to work in the medical publishing industry. I also have a passion for healthy food, which prompted me to take several online courses in nutrition and health offered by Wageningen University. (I still haven’t completed the courses thanks to my busy mommy schedule!). When I’m not writing/editing scientific and medical manuscripts or taking care of my family, I use my free time to research, learn, and write about healthy living. I have also authored a few books in the self-help niche using the pen names Princila Murrell or PN Murray.

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