Natural Remedies for Vaginal Itching

Vaginal itching could be a result of chemical irritation caused by detergents or soaps. It could also be caused by yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis, or a sexually transmitted disease (STD). To get rid of the itch, you will have to find out what is causing it. There are different natural ways you can ease the itching, such as eating certain foods or taking supplements, depending on the cause of your vaginal itching. Remember that it’s important to see your healthcare provider before trying out natural remedies to stop your itching. They can help you determine what the cause of the itching is and recommend effective ways to treat it.

Greek yogurt

wilatlak villette / Getty Images

Yeast Infection 

A yeast infection occurs when there is an overgrowth of the yeast that naturally lives in the vagina. It is typically caused by Candida albicans, but there are several Candida species that can cause a yeast infection. A yeast infection is usually accompanied by vaginal itching, burning, and abnormal discharge.

How Common Are Yeast Infections?

Vaginal yeast infections are incredibly common, and it’s estimated that over 1 million women will have one every year in the United States. According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, roughly 75% of all women will experience at least one yeast infection in their lifetime.

Home Remedies for Yeast Infections

Treating a yeast infection at home is easy, but the symptoms of a yeast infection are very similar to those of other conditions such as STDs. It's important to get an accurate diagnosis of what is causing your vaginal itching before trying a remedy at home.

Home remedies that can help with the itching caused by a yeast infection include:

  • Ingesting yogurt: Yogurt contains probiotics, which can help correct the imbalance in bacteria. Bacteria and yeast in the vagina keep each other in check, but when there is a lack of bacteria, the yeast can grow out of control. Research has shown that by eating yogurt, the gut microbiome reduces the amount of yeast in the body. However, there is no evidence from randomized trials that yogurt is an effective treatment for vaginal yeast infections. Choose a yogurt that is low in sugar like Greek yogurt because yeast feeds off sugar. Too much sugar in the body can help the fungus thrive. You can also take probiotic supplements instead of eating yogurt.
  • Applying boric acid: Boric acid has been shown in one small study to be as effective as the prescription antifungal medication fluconazole at treating yeast infections. However, it has not generally been proven as such based on available data. There are also no data on long-term safety, so do not use boric acid to treat recurrent vaginitis without consulting with your healthcare provider first. It should only be used topically or as vaginal suppositories since the substance can lead to toxicity if it is ingested or absorbed into the body in large amounts.
  • Bathing in baking soda: Taking a baking soda bath may also help. Baking soda has been shown to kill Candida in an in vitro study, but there are no data to support actual efficacy in humans. To make a baking soda bath, add one-fourth to two cups to a warm bath.

Hormones 

Hormonal changes can cause vaginal itching during menopause, perimenopause (the transitional period before menopause), pregnancy, or throughout your menstrual cycle. When estrogen levels become low, it can lead to dry and itchy skin in the vagina. In some cases, a significant decrease in estrogen can lead to vaginal atrophy, which presents with dryness, burning, and itching in the vaginal area.

Home Remedies for Hormone-Related Vaginal Itching

While it can be difficult to manipulate hormonal changes within the body, there are some ways that people who experience vaginal itching caused by hormonal changes can find relief at home, including:

  • Using a cool compress: A cool compress can be used in the vaginal area to help soothe any irritation and ease the itching.
  • Taking a colloidal oatmeal bath: Colloidal oatmeal comes in a powder and can be helpful in alleviating itching when it is used in a bath. Oatmeal contains compounds that are thought to inhibit skin inflammation and can help relieve itching and irritation. To make an oatmeal bath, dissolve oatmeal into a warm bath and soak for up to 20 minutes.

Chemical Irritation 

Some chemicals can cause vaginal irritation and itching. These irritants include clothing detergents, soaps, body washes, bath salts or bubble baths, douches, and feminine sprays. In some cases, an allergic reaction could occur, which leads to itching and rashes on the body.

Home Remedies for Chemically Induced Vaginal Itching

Some helpful home remedies for itching caused by chemical irritants include:

  • Discontinuing use of the product: The easiest way to alleviate vaginal itching caused by a chemical irritant is to stop using it. This will typically clear up the itching.
  • Wearing cotton underwear: Discomfort in the vaginal area could be relieved by switching the type of underwear you wear. Since cotton is a breathable fabric, it can help reduce irritation in the vaginal area.
  • Taking a colloidal oatmeal bath: To ease vaginal itching, taking an oatmeal bath can help.

Skin Conditions 

Another potential cause of vaginal itching is a skin disease such as eczema or psoriasis. These conditions typically affect the skin on other parts of the body, but they can sometimes affect the vaginal area. Eczema presents as a scaly, red rash and is most commonly found on the elbows, backs of the knees, neck, wrists, or ankles. Psoriasis also causes a red, scaly rash, but it's typically found on the lower back, elbows, knees, legs, soles of the feet, scalp, face, and palms of the hands.

How Common Is Eczema?

Eczema is quite common in the United States. It’s estimated that as many as 20% of people will experience the condition at some point in their lifetime. It is most commonly found in people with environmental or food allergies and those with a family history of asthma.  

Home Remedies for Vaginal Itching Caused by Skin Conditions

Besides soothing the itching by using coconut oil or taking an oatmeal bath, you can ease vaginal itching caused by these skin conditions in other natural ways:

  • Applying aloe vera cream: Aloe vera is a proven skin soother for a variety of different skin ailments. For vaginal itching caused by skin conditions, it can be safely applied around the outer parts of the vagina and vulva and inside to help relieve itching.
  • Applying coconut oil: Coconut oil is potentially effective for itching related to eczema. Clinical research in children with eczema has shown that topical application of virgin coconut oil was more effective than mineral oil.

Bacterial Vaginosis  

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is triggered by an imbalance in bacteria within the vagina. When there is an overabundance of bad bacteria without enough good bacteria to balance it out, BV occurs. Aside from itching, BV will present with other symptoms such as white or gray vaginal discharge; a strong, fish-like odor; and burning during urination.

 Home Remedies for Bacterial Vaginosis

While a person may need prescription medication to help treat BV, some home remedies can be used to help relieve the symptoms. Much like a yeast infection, yogurt and probiotics can help with BV. However, systematic reviews of trials of using probiotics to treat BV have not found sufficient evidence for or against its efficacy. Some trials have shown promising results, but more data are needed.

Overall, there are not sufficient data to support the use of the following home treatments for BV, but other natural remedies you can try for BV include:

  • Using raw honey ointment: Using a raw honey ointment has been shown to help soothe vaginal itching and treat BV itself because of its antibacterial properties.
  • Bathing in baking soda or colloidal oatmeal: Taking a warm bath in baking soda or colloidal oatmeal has been shown to help relieve itching. If the itching or irritation has led to any cuts or open sores, a baking soda bath is not recommended.
  • Applying Greek yogurt: Greek yogurt is good for BV because it can help introduce good bacteria back into the body. It can be used alone, with honey, or with another vaginal cream inside the vagina to relieve symptoms.
  • Eating garlic tablets: Garlic has been used for BV because of its antibacterial properties. The way to use garlic to help with the itching and other symptoms of BV is by way of garlic tablets.

When to Call Your Healthcare Provider

If you have been using home remedies for BV for a week and have not seen any improvement in your symptoms, it’s important that you speak with your healthcare provider. Prescription medications may be needed to treat your condition.

Vulvar Cancer   

In some rare cases, vaginal itching can be caused by vulvar cancer or lichen sclerosis, a more common condition that causes vaginal pruritus. Lichen sclerosis can be a precursor to vulvar cancer, and thus it is important to seek medical evaluation for vaginal itching that doesn't resolve.

The itching associated with vulvar cancer will likely be accompanied by other symptoms such as burning or bleeding that does not stop. The skin could also change color and become redder or whiter.

Home Remedies for Itching Caused by Vulvar Cancer

Vulvar cancer needs to be treated by a healthcare provider. However, you can soothe the vaginal itching caused by this condition by using a cold compress, having an oatmeal bath, or applying coconut oil to the affected area.

If vulvar cancer is to blame for your vaginal itching, it’s important to speak to your healthcare provider before trying any home remedies.

When to Call Your Healthcare Provider

If the vaginal itching is getting in the way of your life or your sleep at night, you should speak with your healthcare provider. Although some causes are harmless, some require medical treatment. Symptoms that you should take into consideration include:

  • Blistering or ulcers in the genital area, especially on the vulva
  • Redness, swelling, pain, or tenderness in the genital area
  • A change in vaginal discharge or odor
  • Pain or discomfort during urination or sexual intercourse
  • Difficulty urinating

Many of the conditions that cause vaginal itching require a visit to the healthcare provider's office. You should always make time to speak with your primary care physician or gynecologist when any discomfort or changes occur in your genital area. While treating the itching at home can help ease your discomfort, you will not be able to identify the cause of the itching unless you speak to a healthcare provider.

Was this page helpful?
Article Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Cleveland Clinic. Yeast infections. Updated October 26, 2019.

  2. Office on Women's Health. Vaginal yeast infections. Updated April 1, 2019.

  3. Fares BS, Abd el Kader S, Abd El Hamid AA, Gaafar HM. Effect of ingestion of yogurt containing Lactobacillus acidophilus on vulvovaginal candidiasis among women attending a gynecological clinic. Egypt Nurs J. 2017;14:41-49. doi:10.4103/ENJ.ENJ_8_17

  4. Khameneie KM, Arianpour N, Roozegar R, Aklamli M, Amiri MM. FLUCONAZOLE AND BORIC ACID FOR TREATMENT OF VAGINAL CANDIDIASIS--NEW WORDS ABOUT OLD ISSUE. East Afr Med J. 2013 Apr;90(4):117-123.

  5. Letscher-Bru V, Obszynski CM, Samsoen M, Sabou M, Waller J, Candolfi E. Antifungal activity of sodium bicarbonate against fungal agents causing superficial infections. Mycopathologia. 2013 Feb;175(1-2):153-158. doi:10.1007/s11046-012-9583-2

  6. Cleveland Clinic. Vaginal atrophy. Updated October 27, 2020.

  7. Criquet M, Roure R, Dayan L, Nollent V, Bertin C. Safety and efficacy of personal care products containing colloidal oatmeal. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2012;5:183-193. doi:10.2147/CCID.S31375

  8. Marfatia YS, Patel D, Menon DS, Naswa S. Genital contact allergy: A diagnosis missed. Indian J Sex Transm Dis AIDS. 2016 Jan-Jun;37(1):1-6. doi:10.4103/0253-7184.180286

  9. Cleveland Clinic. Eczema. Updated October 28, 2020.

  10. Hekmatpou D, Mehrabi F, Rahzani K, Aminiyan A. The Effect of Aloe Vera Clinical Trials on Prevention and Healing of Skin Wound: A Systematic Review. Iran J Med Sci. 2019 Jan;44(1):1-9.

  11. Poordast T, Ghaedian L, Ghaedian L, Najib FS, Alipour S, Hosseinzadeh M, Vardanjani HM, Salehi A, Hosseinimehr SJ. Aloe Vera; A new treatment for atrophic vaginitis, A randomized double-blinded controlled trial. J Ethnopharmacol. 2021 Apr 24;270:113760. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2020.113760

  12. Evangelista MT, Abad-Casintahan F, Lopez-Villafuerte L. The effect of topical virgin coconut oil on SCORAD index, transepidermal water loss, and skin capacitance in mild to moderate pediatric atopic dermatitis: a randomized, double-blind, clinical trial. Int J Dermatol. 2014 Jan;53(1):100-8. doi:10.1111/ijd.12339

  13. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Bacterial vaginosis - CDC fact sheet. Updated February 10, 2020.

  14. Mandal MD, Mandal S. Honey: its medicinal property and antibacterial activity. Asian Pac J Trop Biomed. 2011 Apr;1(2):154-160. doi:10.1016/S2221-1691(11)60016-6

  15. Darvishi M, Jahdi F, Hamzegardeshi Z, Goodarzi S, Vahedi M. The Comparison of vaginal cream of mixing yogurt, honey and clotrimazole on symptoms of vaginal candidiasis. Glob J Health Sci. 2015 Apr 3;7(6):108-16. doi:10.5539/gjhs.v7n6p108

  16. Mohammadzadeh F, Dolatian M, Jorjani M, Alavi Majd H, Borumandnia N. Comparing the therapeutic effects of garlic tablet and oral metronidazole on bacterial vaginosis: a randomized controlled clinical trial. Iran Red Crescent Med J. 2014 Jul;16(7):e19118. doi:10.5812/ircmj.19118