Pruritus literally means a sensation of itching and vulva is the name given to the entrance to the vagina. It is a symptom, not a disease in itself. At least 10 per cent of women all over the world suffer from this complaint.
Pruritus vulvae is generally relieved through scratching in the initial stages. At a later stage, the patient develops a burning sensation in this region. This can intensify to such an extent that women suffering from this complaint prefer to remain indoors and refuse to go out. This problem occurs more during the night. The patient may scratch the area during sleep and wake to find that she has made herself bleed.
One of the main causes of pruritus vulvae is purulent and mucopurulent vaginal discharge. Due to this discharge, the vulva region chafes. The resulting tenderness causes pain. Over 80 per cent of these cases occur due to this cause. Prorates, without vaginal discharge, occurs in 15 to 20 per cent of the cases.
In some cases prorates vulvae may develop due to the presence of skin diseases not specific to the vulva such as psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis and scabies. Other causes include animal and vegetable parasite infections which tend to cause pruritus public rather than pruritus vulvae, conditions of the urinary track like continence of urine and pyuria. Highly acidic urine sometime causes soreness which subsequently leads to pruritus. Glycosuria and diabetes also contribute to this condition.
Pruritus vulvae can result from skin sensitivity to various kinds of soaps, bath salts, deodorants and antiseptics which contain particular phenols and cresols and from certain drugs. These allergies may also be caused by nylons and tight-fitting clothes. In rare cases the disorders may develop as an offshoot of certain major problems like jaundice, uraemia, and other toxic conditions.
Many mental disturbances can affect the sexual bias and psychoneurosis results. The skin of the vulva region can also be a site of psychoneurosis, nervous fatigue and rough clotting Sexual frustration and guilt feelings can also lead to pruritus vulvae.
There is always some underlying cause for the onset of purirtus, but scratching soon damages the skin and causes secondary changes which may obscure the primary cause. In addition, the skin may become sensitized to some local application. IN long standing cases, the diagnosis of both the initial cause and the reason for the maintenance of the irritation may become extremely difficult, particularly when more than one factor is involved. Successfully treatment depends on two cardinal principles, namely, to remove any underlying cause and to stop further damage to the skin by scratching or by unsuitable application.
The most important factor in the treatment of pruritus vulvae caused by infections through fungus or parasites is cleanliness. Bowels should be kept clean either through enemas or a natural diet. The patient must wear clean clothes to avoid this problem. After urination, the vagina should be thoroughly washed with plain cold water. IN case of severe pruritus, it is advisable to wash the vulva with neem leaves decoction and apply green light charged coconut oil.
Treatments like neem water vaginal douches help kill bacteria and fungus. The affect reaction should be exposed to green coloured light or rays of the sun through green coloured glass for 25 to 30 minutes. This will help reduce infections.
Purritus vulvae resulting from discharges from the uterus, cervix or vagina causes inflammations. This can be reduced by regular application of mud packs on the lower abdomen, twice or thrice a day. A cold hip bath may also be taken for 10 minutes. An alternate hot and cold hip bath is especially useful in reducing inflammation.
In cases of pruritus resulting from diabetes mellitus, glycosuria, uraemia, jaundice and other toxic states, specific diets and treatments for these complaints should be followed before pruritus could be cured.
Skin diseases like psoriasis, scabies, fungal infections should be treated through nature cure methods. These include steam baths, mud baths, immersion baths, sun baths, spine baths and chromotherapy.
Diet plays an important role in the treatment of pruritus vulvae. Initially the patient should be put on a juice fast for a few days. She should drink fruit and vegetable juices, diluted with water on 50 : 50 basis. A warm water enema should be used daily during the period of fasting to cleanse the bowels.
Fasting helps relieve the toxic conditions not in just the affected region but also the entire body. Thus inflammation is reduced. The diet after the juice fast could include seasonal fruits, salads, sprouts, vegetables, soups or buttermilk. Cooked food should be included in the diet only much later.
The patient should avoid all processed, refined and denatured foods such as white sugar, white flour and all products made from them as well a s coffee, tea, eggs, meat, spicy and oily foods.
Alcohol and smoking are to be completely eliminated. A natural mode of life will go a long way in overcoming pruritus vulvae. It will also lead to improvement in health in general.