Skin in private areas are more delicate and sensitive than the skin in other body parts, making it prone to irritation and infections. Both men and women experience skin problems in private areas from time to time. The most common causes of skin irritation are chemicals, moisture and friction. The chemicals in the products we use, cause dryness, sensitivity, itchiness, redness and cracking of the skin. Skin damaged by rubbing or friction can get infected by common skin bacteria and yeasts, that can cause skin problems. Good skin care can improve dry, itchy and irritated skin. We have listed some simple measures that will help you fight skin infection in your private areas.
- For cleaning, use water and a soap substitute such as an aqueous cream.
- Wear loose-fitting clothes and underwear made from natural fibers (not synthetic) like cotton, to allow private area skin to remain cool.
- Use un-perfumed, un-coloured, un-bleached sanitary products.
- Change your underwear daily.
- Rinse underwear thoroughly after washing, to remove laundry detergent.
- Wash your underwear in non-biological washing powder. Don’t add fabric softener.
- Take short and cool showers.
- Try to avoid using soaps, body washes, tea tree oil, antiseptics, bubble baths, perfumed products, intimate hygiene products, feminine wipes, wet wipes, scented oils and toilet paper.
- Avoid panty liners and sanitary pads; instead, use tampons.
- No long hot showers. They increase itch and dry the skin.
- No more than 2 showers a day.
- Avoid tight clothes, nightwear and underwear.
- Avoid leather, wool and nylon clothing.
- Avoid waxing, shaving and hair removal creams.
- Don’t use creams that have not been prescribed for skin problems, including creams from the chemist or naturopath.
- Avoid rubbing and scratching.
Saltwater baths can sooth moist, irritated, itchy and inflamed skin in the private areas. Add 1 small handful of salt in a shallow bath, and soak yourselves for 10-15 minutes, 2 times per day. Stop saltwater bathing / soaking after 3 days, as excessive soaks can over-dry the skin.
Cold packs are very good for relieving itch and burning pain, as cold can block pain and itchy sensations. Use a small ice pack or frozen peas wrapped in a soft towel, and apply to skin until itch or pain resolves.
Soap substitutes can be used for dry or irritated skin.
These tips can help you prevent or reduce skin problems in your private areas. If you still have problems despite trying these measures, consult a skin doctor to get a diagnosis.