9:38 pm - 01/01/2013

Vaginal Eczema

I've had eczema since I was little, and it usually just occurred on my legs but this year it's EVERYWHERE, including my vagina. I've seen my gyno and she's ruled out any STDs (although I did have HPV at one point, but no outward symptoms (i.e. warts, etc.). I've tried various prescription ointments but I have such sensitive skin down there they either burn because of the open cuts or make the itching worse. I try and wear cotton panties at all times and I try and go panty-less at night. Are there any other things I could do to help this problem? I try and avoid scratching as much as possible but sometimes I do it at night while I'm sleeping. Is there some kind of lotion I could get that is safe to use down there and might help? Sex has become kind of painful because of the stretching of the already irritated skin and it burns whenever we use lube or when he comes inside of me because of the open cuts and that is no fun. :(

Thanks for any help!

Edit: Thank you everyone for your replies and help! I will definitely be trying out a few of the suggestions! :)
darkanddusty 2nd-Jan-2013 04:42 am (UTC)
I will be watching this post like a hawk because this is EXACTLY my life right now... I've found that putting a very tiny bit of my prescription eczema gel stuff helps when it gets unbearable, but otherwise I haven't found much that works. :/
glass_houses 3rd-Jan-2013 12:11 am (UTC)
You can "Track" this entry, meaning you'll automatically be contacted with every new comment in it :)
quietchildae 2nd-Jan-2013 04:45 am (UTC)
Entirely ancedotal, but I suffered very badly from sebhorric dermatitis, which is related to eczema, and I was on steroid creams for a very long time - I -hated- being on them, because extended use of steroids can be just as bad for your skin as the condition itself... I finally got in to a dermatologist, and she prescribed me a cream called promiseb, which is actually an anti-inflammatory, rather than a steroid. And it worked, so well, and I'm all cleared up, and it is so amazing. Point being, you might go talk to a dermatologist if possible, and see if there is an equivalent cream for eczema? I don't know if it's usable for eczema, but it might be, but it seems like asking after one might be helpful. And it didn't sting at all!

In the mean time, you might try finding 100% pure aloe to put on - it's hard to find, sometimes I end up just getting an aloe plant, and breaking it open. But aloe is good for skin irritations, and might help with the itching, even though it won't specifically do anything to treat the eczema.

Good luck, I know how frustrating this can be!
quietchildae 2nd-Jan-2013 04:48 am (UTC)
I should add - Promiseb was not covered by my insurance, and because it is relatively new, it doesn't seem that many insurance companies do cover it. However, my dermatologist did give me plenty of samples, and the company does offer assistance for people who can't afford it, so if you do end up going with that one, there are options to make it more affordable!
nightchild01 3rd-Jan-2013 12:49 am (UTC)
Sorry to highjack the thread but... How much is Promiseb out of pocket? I've been on steroid creams twice a day for...three...four (?) years and I have health effects from them but I have 100% full body eczema (limbs, torso, face, scalp, genitals) and can't function without it. I'm obviously concerned about my long-term health but my fiance and I are below poverty level and don't have insurance so I'd like to research this drug a bit more before bringing it up to a doctor.
quietchildae 3rd-Jan-2013 01:02 am (UTC)
Yeh, I know the frustrations of the steroid dance! It really is so frustrating - can't survive with them, but survive with them knowing the damage they're doing :( I don't know how much the cream was, because I only had the trial one from my dermatologist, and didn't get a prescription. However, the shampoo they offer was $120, with no insurance, and no discounts from them - with the discount from them, I think it drops down to around $60. I know that's a lot of money (it was for me too), but it's a decent size bottle of shampoo, and it would last awhile. The full size cream I would assume is around the same cost, but even the little trial one lasted me over a month, so it does go for a bit. Plus, I think you could probably use the shampoo as a body wash, and still get the benefits from it, so maybe you could get away with just the shampoo?

I think it's definitely worth trying to get a trial sample of it (or a few, my derm gave me 4 of them), and seeing if it works, and then maybe contacting the maker for discounts?
nightchild01 3rd-Jan-2013 01:14 am (UTC)
Thank you for the information! I have insurance for four months (Thank you, Obamacare, for letting me get on my parents' insurance until I turn 26!) and we're going to get all the testing we can afford to get diagnosises for my health issues. So I'll ask a doctor about samples and see how it does me.
quietchildae 3rd-Jan-2013 01:15 am (UTC)
Yay for insurance!!! It does help, for all its issues. I wish you the best of luck!!
nightchild01 3rd-Jan-2013 01:19 am (UTC)
Thanks! I'm nervous but also excited.
faithful_summer 2nd-Jan-2013 04:52 am (UTC)
I have no idea if it's ok to use in the vaginal area, but I have always had eczema and read once that Emu oil can help. I tried it a number of years ago for some reason but can't really remember how well it worked (I think it helped, but I don't remember how much).

Also, my sympathies. I get eczema almost everywhere *except* my genitals and can't imagine how awful that must be. My personal most painful/annoying place is when I get it on my eyelids, which is also difficult to treat. :(

Edit: Actually, I should add that once when I had a really bad spot right along my panty line where everything was rubbing constantly, I put diaper ointment on it and it helped tremendously in relieving some of the discomfort. I don't think I'd use it internally, but if some of the skin in question is on the outer parts, I'd guess it would be ok to use in that area seeing as it's made for use around those areas. I don't think it would be a cure, necessarily, but maybe help it be less raw?

Edited at 2013-01-02 05:06 am (UTC)
nightchild01 2nd-Jan-2013 05:18 am (UTC)
I have eczema all over my skin too. I've found that hard pressed, extra virgin coconut oil is amazing. It doesn't cure it but it's amazing for moisture and safe to use on your genitals. Since it is oil, however, it will eat through latex (including toys and condoms).

Edited at 2013-01-02 05:18 am (UTC)
sabrebabe 2nd-Jan-2013 06:00 am (UTC)
One of my grandsons has eczema and is super prone to diaper rashes the within 12 hours can become open, bleeding sores if we don't treat it the very second we see the slightest little rash starting. (yes, I know, he's a little boy, how can this be relevent?)

While trying to treat this without using the prescription-only steroid creme, I stumbled across something called Beaudroux's (sp?) Butt Paste.

Buy it. Use it. We can't use the steroid creme on Sid when he gets the open, bleeding sores, but the Butt Paste WORKS! And it works without being toxic or stinging and cleans up without too much fuss. I keep it on hand now for all the grandchildren. Wish we had it when my own kids were in diapers. We had something similar, but they've reformualted it to make it easier to clean up, and now it doesn't work anymore. :P

It may not clear up your eczema, but it *should* stop it from getting worse. At least it should give you a good night's rest. If you can use it safely on baby's intimate parts, I don't see why a grown up couldn't use it as well.
veryshortlist 2nd-Jan-2013 07:02 am (UTC)
i get itchy down there too and find that coconut oil helps a lot. good luck!

(i'm also watching this post like a hawk, haha.)
lecabinet 2nd-Jan-2013 09:14 am (UTC)
When I was little an oatmeal bath was recommended to calm the itching, I can't remember what that was or how it worked, but might be worth a google as a cheap way to treat the symptoms? Good luck!
lecabinet 2nd-Jan-2013 11:04 pm (UTC)
As a longer term thought rather than a balm; it may be worth consulting a dietician or looking up books on controlling skin conditions via dietary changes, ie cutting down on dairy products can help as far as I can remember.
mangofandango 2nd-Jan-2013 06:46 pm (UTC)
My 3 year old daughter is having this problem. We haven't really quite solved it, but here are a few things that her doctor recommended that have helped:

- stay really hydrated, and try to position yourself when urinating so that the pee doesn't touch your skin. My daughter complained of pain when she peed, around her urethra but also on labia and perineum, and I think it has been actually pee on irritated skin that has been causing it. Drinking more water will dilute your urine, which will make it less stingy if it does touch your skin. (Plus, more hydration is better anyway, generally!)

- Try using a calendula ointment. My daughter has Badger baby balm and it is soothing and helps heal things up. It's made of olive oil, beeswax, calendula, and other calming ingredients, but nothing that would generally cause itching or burning. Other brands are fine too, this is just the one I am familiar with. (My daughter is allergic to nuts, so we had to choose a preparation without shea or other nut butters. I also tried to avoid anything containing alcohol, as that can be stingy.) I have eczema on my fingers, and I have had some luck with vitamin E oil, which I think would also be fine to apply to your vulva.

- No bubble bath, no soap on the vulva. She takes a bath in just warm water, and I shampoo her hair but leave the rest of her alone, soap-wise.

Like I said, these things have not entirely cured the problem, but they help a lot. She has no visible rashiness or dryness now, though she complains of irritation or pain sometimes. But if any of that is stuff you haven't tried, it might be worth a shot! I think I would also see a dermatologist and let them know that your current prescriptions are causing more problems than anything and see what they recommend.

I'm so sorry, I know this is Not Fun. I hope you can find some relief!
dkwgdk 2nd-Jan-2013 08:36 pm (UTC)
Folks above have suggested coconut oil and the butt paste. I've found Triple Paste, another kind of diaper rash cream, to be really soothing after waxing. (It has a really high zinc oxide content, sometimes that helps.)

I've also found the coconut oil to be really helpful with dryness...it's a little messy, so I'd suggest applying just a little bit at a time until you figure out how best to apply it. I put mine on before bed and then sleep in a baggy pair of shorts to contain the mess...it's not that it's so messy, it's more that I move around in my sleep a lot!
pretendworld_ 2nd-Jan-2013 11:08 pm (UTC)
Are you sure it's eczema and not lichen sclerosis?
jadedcupcakes 3rd-Jan-2013 06:55 pm (UTC)
eczema sufferer for 27 years now. I've been through all the stupid steroid creams and such. But I did find some stuff that has helped calm my eczema down. Neosporin now makes a eczema treatment in anti itch cream, body lotion, and shower gel. I use the anti itch cream, and the body lotion right when I get out of the shower. I also changed over to summer's eve ph balanced body wash. You can find it in the woman section of any store. It's super gentle soap because it's made for the woman area, but I use it as a full body wash, and I've noticed a huge difference in my skin. I made it all the way to clobetasol 0.05% because hydrocortisone, Trimethazone, and elidel cream all failed me. This is my first over the counter experience that has actually helped me.
lenajames49 5th-Jun-2013 03:24 pm (UTC)
I have had vag. Eczema for about 7 years now.. 7 of the most uncomfortable years of my life. I have seen many Dr's, drove across my state to see the best in dermatology and nothing. I have been giving meds by mouth, ointments to put on it, which in turn thinned the skin after a while and only makes the impossible to ignore itch even more painful.. I've seen many sleepless nights, scratching until I bleed, hitting my knees crying, praying for relief. Recently during the spring pollen I was getting headaches, taking 800Mg of Motrin (ibuprofen) to help with the headaches and I noticed that the itching was seeing a lot of relief. Crazy I know, but I swear it has given me about 90% relief. I do have to take the 800Mg every 4-5 hrs but it beats loosing my mind to this terrible itch. I'm waiting to go see my derm. Soon to talk about what may be in the ibuprofen that is helping me but until then my reg. Dr suggest taking something to coat the stomach while taking it. I would love to know if anyone tries this and has good luck with it, I hate to see anyone go through what I've been through...
vvvexation 13th-Jun-2013 12:42 am (UTC)
Yeah, pain meds seem to help my itching as well. Tylenol helps a bit, and I don't have to worry about it hurting my stomach like ibuprofen.
lenajames49 20th-Jun-2013 09:09 pm (UTC)
Thanks, I think I am going to talk to my Dr. about taking a prescribed pain med. Anything is better than the itching! :/
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