Friday, May 22, 2015

Table of Contents


Stopping using any products that may cause irritation. Apply an over-the-counter cortisone ointment two or three times a day on the affected area for up to 1 week. If these methods do not relieve symptoms, see your health care provider.

Vaginal infections will be treated as appropriate. Cortisone ointment may be used to decrease vulvar itching.

If treatment does not work, biopsy of the skin of the vulva may be done to rule out vulvar dystrophy or vulvar dysplasia, a precancerous condition. A biopsy may also be necessary if any skin lesions are present.

Support Groups

Expectations (prognosis)

Itching may be hard to control, but after the cause is identified and treated, it should go away in several weeks.


Itching of the vulva may be a sign of genital warts (HPV - human papilloma virus), vulvar dystrophy, or precancerous or cancerous conditions of the vulva.

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), which can cause vulvitis, may lead to other problems such as infertily. STDs should be treated appropriately.

Calling your health care provider

Call for an appointment with your health care provider if symptoms occur and do not respond to self care measures, or if vaginal discharge accompanies the symptoms. Also call if you see sores on the vulva.

Review Date: 10/28/2008
Reviewed By: Linda Vorvick, MD, Seattle Site Coordinator, Lecturer, Pathophysiology, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine; and Susan Storck, MD, FACOG, Chief, Eastside Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, Redmond, Washington; Clinical Teaching Faculty, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (