Your vaginal region is ultrasensitive and requires special attention, says Stephanie McClellan, an ob-gyn and the chief medical officer at Tia Clinic, a gynecology and wellness practice in New York City. These three strategies will keep it healthy.
All the things that can make your face break out can affect you down south too: poor sleep, dehydration, and stress, Dr. McClellan says. These factors increase inflammation, which makes skin prone to irritation. A sure sign of suffering? Increased itchiness in the evening. “Anything that’s inflammation related tends to get worse at night,” Dr. McClellan says. Aim to get seven hours of sleep every night and drink at least 2 litres of water a day. If you’re falling short, take extra care to prevent chafing. Stick to looser-fitting clothes and 100-percent-cotton underwear.
USE CLEAN PRODUCTS
Vulval skin is absorbent, which makes it more likely to react to ingredients in soap, moisturiser, and even fabric softener. Avoid well-known irritants like synthetic fragrance and parabens, and skip products that contain essential oils – some, like tea tree oil, can burn sensitive skin, Dr. McClellan says. She advises using water instead of soap and looking for moisturiser with few ingredients.
GIVE SOME TLC
Your risk of bacterial vaginosis and urinary tract and yeast infections is higher in the summer because bacteria and yeast love heat and humidity. The resulting discharge can make the vulva red, rash-like, and irritated. While you’re treating the infection, Dr. McClellan says, use an over the counter hydrocortisone cream to calm angry skin. If that doesn’t help after a day or two, head to your ob-gyn, she adds. “The irritation might be contact dermatitis or eczema, or it could be a misdiagnosed problem – many women think they have yeast when another issue is to blame,” she says.
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