Chemicals, allergies, and vaginal irritation

Vaginal itching and irritation may be caused by an infection, but sometimes a different culprit is to blame: chemical irritation or allergies.

Chemicals in products such as scented soap, bubble bath, coloured toilet paper, laundry detergents, douches, latex condoms, IUDs, diaphragms, spermicides, or feminine hygiene products (tampons and pads) can irritate the delicate tissues of the vagina, leading to itching and irritation.

Women may also become allergic to certain substances, such as sperm, dyes, soaps, birth control products (such as spermicides), and hygiene products. With allergies, the woman's immune system overreacts to these substances, leading to vaginal irritation, itching, and burning.

Management of chemical irritation or allergies involves finding out which chemical or substance is causing your symptoms so that you can avoid it. Your doctor can help you narrow down the cause and give you tips on how to cope until the reaction goes away. Your doctor will also help rule out other possible causes for your symptoms, such as infections, decreased estrogen levels due to menopause, or skin conditions.

Vaginal irritation and itching can also be caused by other conditions, and some of these conditions can cause serious complications if they are not properly diagnosed and treated. That's why it's important to see your doctor to find out the cause of your symptoms and get appropriate treatment, rather than trying to treat the problem yourself.

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