Dry Flaky Skin in the Pubic Area: How to Treat It?

Having dry, flaky skin in the pubic area can be alarming for anyone. It may be accompanied by other symptoms that can signal some medical conditions. While it is important to determine the underlying cause of dry skin, there are some ways to ease the symptoms at home. In this article, you'll learn why your skin might be drying out and ways you can treat it.

Key takeaways:

Dry skin

The skin is the largest organ of the body. It is a barrier against the environment and plays a vital role in protecting us from various hazards. The reduction of water content and the depletion of natural lipids of the skin causes damage to the skin barrier, which results in dry skin.


When the skin is lacking moisture and oils, dry skin is not the only symptom. Patients notice other signs on their skin, including:

  • Rough texture
  • Itchiness
  • Irritated skin
  • Patches or flakes that peel off

Dehydrated skin can also crack, which may result in bleeding.

Who develops excessively dry skin?

Some people are more likely to have dry, flaky skin. The risk factors include:

  • Aging. Skin sebum production reduces with age and dry skin is more common in middle aged or older people.
  • Vitamin deficiency. Vitamins A, B, D, E, and minerals, such as zinc and iron, are vital nutrients for the skin barrier. If a person lacks these nutrients due to a poor diet or eating disorders, this can result in drier skin.
  • Smoking. Smoking accelerates the aging process in the skin, which results in a decrease in sebum production and drier skin.
  • Medications. Taking statins, retinoids, or diuretics can have a drying effect on the skin.
  • Poor work conditions. People who work in an environment where they must be in contact with harsh chemicals can have a damaged skin barrier that results in skin allergies or drying. This can happen in the pubic area, too.
  • Health conditions. People with thyroid or kidney disease, and diabetes are more likely to have dry skin. Hormonal changes during menopause can also cause excessively dry skin.

Causes of dry skin in the pubic area

A dry, flaky, scaly pubic area can be a symptom of various health conditions, including those listed below.

Contact dermatitis

The skin in the pubic area can be irritated by fragranced hygiene or sanitary products, synthetic tight-fitted underwear, lubricants, and sweat. This usually manifests as dry, itchy, inflamed skin in the place where contact with an irritant occurred. To treat contact dermatitis, it is important to discontinue irritating products and maintain proper hygiene. Sometimes doctors prescribe ointments that contain steroids to reduce inflammation.


Psoriasis is a condition that doesn’t have a determined clear cause. However, it is linked to genetics and an overactive immune system. The fast skin cell turnover can cause skin scales that are itchy and irritated. The affected skin can be located anywhere in the body, including the pubic area. It can cause nail changes or even joint pain. Psoriasis is usually treated with emollients, steroid creams, or biological drugs.

Vaginal infections/ STIs

Vaginal infection — including bacterial vaginosis, yeast infections, trichomoniasis, genital herpes, and pubic lice — can cause the skin of the vulva and the pubic area to become inflamed, dry, and itchy. In the case of vaginitis, dry skin is accompanied by more prominent symptoms, such as a change in the discharge, foul smell, discomfort during sex or urination, and painful sores. Vaginal infections are treated with antibiotics or antifungal drugs.

Lichen sclerosus

Although Lichen sclerosus doesn’t have a clear cause, it is linked to processes of the immune system. In females, this condition usually affects the skin of the vulva. It causes patchy, discolored skin, itching, skin tightening, and discomfort. There’s no cure for this condition. The symptoms can be eased by using prescribed steroid ointments and moisturizing creams.

Risks of dry flaky skin

People with dry skin are more likely to get an infection. A damaged skin barrier is not sufficient to protect from hazardous infectious agents. Dry skin tends to crack and peel. These cracks are the gateway to an infection.

Additionally, flaky, cracking skin can cause itching. Harshly rubbing the skin, irritation or infections of the skin can result in scarring or hyperpigmentation that last for a long time.

Furthermore, dry, atopic skin is linked to higher chances of having or developing other allergies or asthma. People are prone to suffer from contact dermatitis or have food allergies that can end in an anaphylactic shock.


If a person is suffering from persistent dry flaky skin in the pubic area and it affects day-to-day life, it is recommended to consult a medical professional. It is vital to determine the cause of dry skin and to choose a proper treatment plan that is suitable for an individual.

Usually, the treatment plan for dry, flaky skin in the pubic area includes using correct moisturizers, following instructions from a doctor to remove the underlying cause, and self-care.

Natural remedies

People can take steps at home to lessen the symptoms and prevent them from recurring. Some examples include:

  • Moisturizing regularly. Emollients can help reduce the symptoms of dry skin. Apply fragrance-free moisturizers on damp skin several times a day for better results.
  • Wearing loose-fitting cotton clothing. Tight, synthetic underwear can irritate the skin even more.
  • No hot baths. Hot water can dry out the skin even more because it strips out natural oils. It is recommended to take short, warm showers that aren't too hot and last around 5 minutes.
  • Proper hygiene. Using gentle fragrance-free cleansers is appropriate. You should avoid douching, using fragranced intimate washes, or sanitary products.
  • Gentle touch. It is important to avoid harshly rubbing the area with a towel or scratching the skin. Apply all your products by gently patting them.
  • Hydrate. Consuming plenty of water is recommended to keep the proper hydration levels in the body. Drinking alcohol or caffeine can dehydrate the skin. Moreover, some people enjoy using humidifiers to boost the humidity levels in their homes.
  • Vitamins. Taking supplements of vitamins (A, B, D, E), minerals (zinc, iron), and omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce inflammation and improve the appearance of the skin.

Dry, flaky skin in the pubic area can be a result of an allergic reaction, vaginal infection, or skin conditions. It is advised to contact your healthcare provider to determine the most suitable treatment plan for you.

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