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- Pruritus vulvae is a symptom as well as a primary diagnosis:
- The symptom may indicate an underlying pathological process.
- Only when no underlying disease is identified may this be used as a primary diagnosis.
- Pruritus vulvae as a primary diagnosis may also be more appropriately documented as vulvodynia (see “Vulvodynia” topic) and burning vulva syndrome.
EpidemiologySymptoms may occur at any given age during a woman's lifetime:
- Young girls most commonly have infectious etiology.
- The primary diagnosis is more commonly seen in postmenopausal women.
The exact incidence is unknown. However, most women complain of vulvar pruritus at some point in their lifetime.
- High-risk sexual behavior
- Attention should be paid to personal hygiene and avoidance of possible environmental factors.
- Tight-fitting clothing should be avoided.
- Only cotton underwear should be worn.
- Laundry detergent
- Toilet paper
- Sanitary napkins
Commonly Associated Conditions
- Infectious etiology:
- Vaginal or vulvar candida
- Gardnerella vaginalis
- Human papillomavirus
- Herpes simplex virus
- Vulvar vestibulitis
- Lichen sclerosis
- Malignant or premalignant conditions
- Fecal or urinary incontinence
- Excessive heat with sweat
- Dietary: Methylxanthines (e.g., coffee, cola), tomatoes, peanuts
- Autoimmune progesterone dermatitis: Perimenstrual eruptions