Check Up : What is causing her to chafe?

August 16, 2017
Painful shoes

Dear Reader,

A. is a young woman who has contacted Check Up with an irritating problem.

After every monthly cycle, she experiences terrible chafing at the sides of her genitalia, which causes her to itch and scratch the area or rub it hard, which results in bleeding.

The problem has existed for several weeks. She also has observed what looks like genital warts on her vulva, which burn.

Whenever she urinates, she also experiences a burning sensation. She has tried to eliminate the problem by wiping from front to back, wearing cotton underwear and changing the rags she uses on the genital area.

She has stopped using scented soaps and has changed the brand of sanitary napkins she uses. Nothing works! A asks what can she do about the genital warts (if they are genital warts) and what can stop the chafing.

With all these symptoms she is experiencing, I'm assuming she is sexually active and may well have contracted a mixed bag of infections, which could include sexually transmitted infections (STI).

In view of the symptoms A has presented, the lesions she sees are most likely viral warts, which are also sexually transmitted.




STIs are not treated with over-the-counter medications and A will need to stop trying to self-treat and either visit her GP, gynaecologist or the nearest medical clinic with urgency, to be examined, tested and to obtain treatment.

In the interim, sitting in a basin with cold water or applying a cold compress with ice in a towel repeatedly to the itching area will often help to lessen itching.

Also, nothing beats a healthy lifestyle as prevention is always better than cure. Using proper barrier methods such as the right size condom every time when sexually active and abstaining when in doubt about the sexual history of a potential partner is very important to prevention of STIs although this is not infallible!

Apple cider vinegar is another useful remedy to help treat vaginal itching. Wash the vulva and vagina with a glassful of water containing two tablespoons of cider vinegar twice daily for several days.

Another useful method is bathing in a warm salt water bath as the salt kills off the germs. Plain, unsweetened yoghurt and garlic in vitamin E oil applied to the genitals also helps kill yeast and control genital itching.




Garlic oil mixed with vitamin E oil and applied for 10 minutes daily then rinsed off is yet another natural method of reducing or even curing genital itching.

Keep cool! Wear cotton clothes and cotton underwear which will prevent worsening of vaginal itch by keeping the area much cooler than when wearing silk, nylon or synthetic underwear.

Although Check Up has discussed methods to help reduce genital itching and shorten the presence of genital sores, this is no substitute for an examination of the genital region by a trained medical practitioner, who will treat and also investigate to ensure that all other potential illness is identified and treated.

There is a urine test offered by Carigen located on the University of the West Indies, Mona campus, medical sciences building which could be very useful in situations similar to this one.

Write Check Up

PO Box 1731:




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