TEMPORARY RELIEF SUGGESTIONS:
Over the counter antihistamines can help combat inflammation like Actifed, or Sudafed, Zyrtec, (orals) or Benedyrl oral OR the gel especially, can be a great help when applied topically or even Nasalcrom nose spray but sprayed on the genital area. A prescription like Atarax (oral) is an antihistamine and great for hives and itchies as well as inflammation but can make you sleepy, but may really help in a severe flare up and besides we heal when we sleep.
I even used an Atarax (prescription antihistamine) when left with severe inflammation with a bad yeast infection and it helped tremendously to calm things down. The yeast/thrush infection itself was gone but I still was left with that inflammation.
Not that the yeast wasn't cleared up, it definitely was but I find too often we 'think' we still have a yeast infection but it's the inflammation that won't stop (because of an overactive immune system) and we assume that yeast is the problem when it isn't far too often and we mistakenly treat over and over again for yeast.
I recently found this out... The most effective are those older type antihistamines that DO make you sleepy for some reason, so keep that in mind.
Another one that can be quite beneficial is Doxepin cream, brand names of ZONALON OR PRUDOXIN. (Both are prescriptions). I have a study that states this.....
"Doxepin cream has been found to control the pruritus (itchiness) inflammation and pain of atopic dermatitis, eczema, and urticaria - (all histamine, *cytokine; etc. induced) - with results ''superior'' to the use of any steroid cream or oral antihistamines." (In fact 10 X's better)
"Topical Doxepin provided as a five-percent cream has been shown to be extremely effective in controlling the itch, burning pain and inflammation caused by a number of types of dermatitis"
On a damp cloth held in the area, to restore pH levels, or a vinegar soak. Helps with the sting and itch, especially helps with inflammation from a yeast infection. (Remember how we put vinegar on a bad sunburn as a kid?) That’s why it removes the sting and restores the pH levels of the skin, and it doesn't usually sting... didn't me anyway but it may someone else.
In a sitz soak of warm water or on a dampened cloth, I always found soothing. Remember moms using it on babies for bad diaper rash? I don't have a specific sitz bath or pan, but using a large basin I used to sit on the floor with towels and then set it in front of the TV while I sit in it, legs akimbo outside, I lived alone then so it was easy. There are some made that sit on the commode and relatively inexpensive.. I used about a cup in a small basin. I've seen some soak a menstrual pad in it to hold against themselves for relief.
Yes, believe it or not, Honey has been known to help with yeast/thrush infections and is an excellent wound healer. ''Raw honey is exceptionally effective internally against bacteria and parasites. Plus, raw honey contains natural antibiotics, which help kill microbes directly. Raw honey, when applied topically, speeds the healing of tissues damaged by infection and/or trauma. It contains vitamins, minerals and enzymes, as well as sugars, all of which aid in the healing of wounds." We’ve recently had several members who tried it and claim it’s really helped.
Sitz or a bath-soak, some have luck with that, but it burned and irritated me severely. It has a higher pH level which may irritate us as does sperm and blood which also have higher pH levels in case you didn't know that and why that can irritate. Again, we're all different but some find it soothing.
This was recently mentioned as excellent for itch and is available OTC. I've not used it but it had high reviews.
THE 'CAINES' .......like Lidocaine, EMLA, ELA-MAX, benzocaine, prilocaine etc. used topically.
From several technical studies that I've seen, those 'caine's' also help reduce histamine, cytokines, basophils etc. from the Mast cells (as mentioned above and why we use antihistamines) which causes that inflammation or itch, as well as it's a numbing agent for help with that pain. A recent report of using Lidocaine on a cotton ball at night, set into the vestibule for up to 7 weeks nightly has shown some improvement with women with Vulvodynia (painful vulva).
A clip from one report.....
CONCLUSIONS: "Our results indicate that lidocaine directly inhibits histamine release from both rodent mast cells and human basophils in vitro, an allergic reaction caused by direct effect of lidocaine seems to be impossible."
Not saying it's a cure perse' but for possible relief but I have seen some few women say they were allergic to it so be careful of not overusing it. Listen to your body and initially I would only try one tiny small spot to see how YOU react, in fact that's so with any of these meds.
Soaks or sitz bath for soothing and healing also great for drawing infections out. To use in the tub I'd suggest a couple of cups full, (maybe half a cup in a small basin or sitz) great for aching muscles too as it adds Magnesium to our bodies.
Also I try to take extra Magnesium orally as well up to 800-1,000 mgs a day. Magnesium also reduces histamine. It's wonderful for how good it is for us in many ways and Magnesium helps reduce inflammation and pain as does estrogen help quell those painful nerve endings called nociceptors or pain pathway . Don't use Epsom salt soaks too often or it may dry the tissue. Ocean salt water and Sea Salt works well too.
tea bags soaked and then pressed on the vulva may help for pain relief as it's supposed to soothe but I've not tried that personally but some members claimed relief.
ALMOND & PEPPERMINT OIL
We've had several members approve of this and they claim it works quite well for a pleasant cooling relief.
1oz. of almond oil with 2 to 3 drops (ONLY) of peppermint oil.
Be sure to mix it up and keep in a dark container to keep its strength. Don’t use more than those 'few' drops, it did severely irritate one member but others really like it. It may feel a little warm initially I hear. Be aware of Tea tree oil, it has been reported to extremely irritate unless considerably diluted but apparently also good for a yeast infection.
More' than a few members really liked this product (OTC) often ordered 'on line' claiming it helped quite a bit for the itch and was very soothing. It supposedly has no taste or odor (some do, some don't) and can be used even as a lubricant. Suggested use is up to 4X's a day. A full list of resources is available the LS Home page suggested by our own members under LINKS. One of the more often mentioned brands & well researched by one of our members is by Laid in Montana
It may also be very helpful for burns, cuts, arthritis, Fibromyalgia, joint paint, thickens the skin and so much more from the sites I've seen. (With some legitimate studies) and even used for burn or radiation patients.
I ordered some (not that I need it now with being well) as I wanted to know about it, and it's an extremely light type of oil and very gentle, only a few drops are needed and it may be an excellent compounding 'base' to use with some compounded meds as a carrier for deeper penetration of the main medication. But do be careful of using it 'with' a steroid as it may penetrate the steroid too deeply, some 'few' members have been bothered with that combination others have no problem.
Another topical for soothing, some swear by this as an aid for relief. I tried this myself just recently for chapped hands & lips and it's very similar to Vaseline but I like it better, BUT..... Nothing is more pure than plain ol' Vaseline as far as not having other ingredients that may irritate.
BABY DIAPER RASH CREAMS
Like A & D or Desitin, or Balmex, used for soothing. It's suggested that the more Zinc in them the better as zinc is good for tissue healing. I believe Desitin has the highest amt. of zinc at 40%.
BURTS BEES DIAPER OINTMENT ...A member suggests Burts Bee's Diaper Ointment and says this... ''it's wonderful stuff, it's all natural, has healing herbs, is a powerful barrier, smooth as silk and smells GREAT to boot''.
CRISCO or a vegetable type of oil, especially Olive oil.
COCONUT oil: Another favorite. (Emu oil is the favorite by far though)
Those have been suggested by some physicians as well as in some articles and definitely by patients to be very soothing or to even use as lubrication and the cocoanut & Emu oils can be used as a compounding 'base' too for some meds. Careful though if using a condom these oils may weaken it.
Is always a good standby for severe irritation, especially in those cheeky butt cracks or to protect the vulva from urine or blood irritation. Sometimes we just need to take a break from all of those chemicals and protect the inflamed tissue without using anything that might be 'harsher'. Most Physicians agree with using it, a few others don't, so it's a matter of opinion, but I've used it quite successfully and never had a problem.
This is available OTC, (Wal-Mart’s) and fairly inexpensive even by the tub. I've seen some patients rave about this as a soothing type cream. Not a real 'fix', but when we need daily relief they claim it truly helps and is suggested by some dermatologists as well. I've not tried it myself and a few said it irritated but others seem to love it.
Diluted with Vaseline has helped some as well. 3-4 to 1 ratio. (Less Vicks) I know of one woman who swears by Noxzema as well for relief of itching. It was a little too 'stingy' for me though and it may act similar to the 'Almond & Peppermint oil mixture' with that menthol cooling effect. One member used ONLY the Vicks and it helps her tremendously. As for me I personally don't like that menthol effect it feels too ‘burny’ for 'me'.
Soaks or compresses I've also seen recommended as soothing. So did Cleopatra. *smile* and milk truly can take the sting out of things. Recently I suggested it to a member who was in a severe flare up and she was amazed it gave her almost instant relief when nothing else did. *smile* Try it on a menstrual pad and hold against yourself for one idea, or perhaps sit in a small sitz bath with some milk diluted with water..
BUTT PASTE Yes that's its name, and some members claim this is great for soothing relief as well. http://www.buttpaste.com/
UDDER CREAM... Is another & used for cows’ teats but works for us as well. It's had a few rave reviews.
AVEENO SOAKS ...or creams, lotions, or a compress made with it purchase that OTC, or you can make up your own by grinding up Oatmeal or Mothers oats, (same ingredient) some find this very soothing but might clog up your tub if you use it there for a soak if you don't put it in a nylon sock. *smile*
Try a bag of Frozen Peas, it's malleable. This can give some relief. Wrap carefully in a cloth to not freeze or damage the tissue, the peas move easily to form.
A recipe a member gave is: 2 cups water 1/3 cup (80%) alcohol - rubbing alcohol, vodka, etc. combine ingredients & pour into a vacuum Seal Bag or Ziploc baggie, just seal & freeze & then double bag. The alcohol keeps it from freezing solid and creates a gel-like ice pack.
Popcorn Kernels are another suggestion since those mold to the shape. Just put in a cloth bag and pop into the freezer (definitely not the microwave *chuckle*).
Is a pain relieving spray with benzocaine (a numbing agent) and menthol in it. When in a severe flare up this may help. It's also been suggested to use after having a biopsy done for pain relief. I read of a woman whose doctor told her to spray Dermoplast on her pad after the delivery of her baby or apply it with a cotton ball and said it really helped with her burning & itching. One woman said the ‘red’ can (an antibacterial spray) was devastating to her, so be careful not to get that one. Always try the smallest amt. of anything first to see how 'you' react.