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Got itchy rashes on genital area. What could be causing this?

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Dr. Aarti Abraham

OBGYN

Practicing since :1998

Answered : 6011 Questions

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Posted on Thu, 24 Jan 2013 in Skin Rash
Question: I recently had broke out in a rash on my genital area, I am an 18 year old female. And now they have spread to my anus and are itchy/painful. I went and got tested for all std's, but they are mainly on my rectum area. what could cause this, and what could help ease the pain?They are now blisters
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Answered by Dr. Aarti Abraham 1 hour later
Hello XXXXXXX,
Thanks for writing to us.
Rashes in the groin or genital area are usually caused by irritation of the skin from many sources, such as clothes rubbing against the skin, some chemicals present in products used on the private parts, medicated toilet paper/wipes, tampons, latex or lubricants in condoms etc. This is known as contact dermatitis. Contact dermatitis is rarely serious, but it is often very itchy. The treatment is mainly topical steroids, but you should use these only after examination and confirmation of diagnosis by a Specialist, as it can aggravate certain other conditions of the genital area.

Ringworm infection of the perineum is very common, and this requires topical / oral antifungals.

Scabies is a disease, transmitted through close human to human contact, where the parasites burrow under the skin and lay their eggs. The eggs release toxins causing an itchy rash that may appear as little hive-like bumps, red bites or small pimples. Because the mites prefer warm areas, they migrate to the areas where clothing fits tight such as the genital area. This conditions is particulary painful and itchy.
Other parasitic / worm infections can also similarly cause an extremely painful and itchy rash on the genitals, specifically the peri anal area.

Local yeast infection ( candidiasis ) can cause an itchy rash on the genital area.

Skin disorders such as psoriasis, eczema, and lichen can also cause an itchy rash on the private parts.


Sores, blisters, ulcers and a rash especially in the groin or genital area, may be the first symptom of several sexually transmitted infections.

For knowing the exact diagnosis, because genital rashes can be due to a number of causes, you need to consult your gynecologist, and if advised, a Dermatologist, and go for recommended tests and then specific treatment as per the condition identified. However, to minimize the discomfort and itching, I can give you a few pointers :

Do not use fabric softener / harsh detergents for washing your undergarments. If you use a shared washer or dryer, such as a laundromat, you must hand wash and line dry your underwear, towels, and any other clothing that comes in contact with your vulva. .
Wear allergen free cotton underwear, not nylon or lycra etc.
Do not keep the area wet and moist for long.
Do not use bath soaps, lotions, gels, etc, which contain perfumes.
Do not use soap directly on the vulvar skin. Use warm water and mild lather.
Do not scrub / XXXXXXX dry vigorously / douche your private parts.
Use white, unscented, simple toilet paper.
Avoid use of tampons for the time being, unless bleeding is quite heavy. Use sanitary pads with a cotton liner.
Avoid using hair removal products till the inflammation subsides. You might want to trim the vulval hair.
Avoid Lubricated/latex condoms, contraceptive jellies, creams, or sponges which may cause itching and burning.

Take care and feel free to ask for further clarifications.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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