The personal care and maintenance of the vulvar tissue is important for overall women’s health. Feminine hygiene includes many aspects of a woman’s daily life including: the clothes that are worn, the type of detergent or lubricant she uses, or the way she cleanses the vulvar tissue. Lifestyle choices can help maintain healthy vulvar tissues.
Health care professionals consider the vulvar tissue as an extension of the skin. The vulvar tissues are often seen as the most sensitive and delicate part of the female genitals. Vulvar care and hygiene is important to maintain overall good vulvar health. Good vulvar hygiene may help minimize symptoms such as itchiness, redness or even burning. Even if you are not experiencing any vulvar discomfort or pain, the way you take care of the vulva on a day-to-day basis is important.
Vulvar Skin Care
There are many practical and easy ways a woman can maintain excellent vulvar health on a daily basis. Below are some easy practical suggestions to consider. Most of the helpful suggestions have been adapted from the National Vulvodynia Association patient educational handout.
- Consider wearing white cotton underwear. You may even prefer not to wear any underwear at all. If your vulvar is irritated consider some loose boxer shorts to prevent further rubbing of clothes on the sensitive tissues.
- Consider some changes in undergarments including wearing only thigh high or knee high hose instead of full length pantyhose. If you absolutely must wear pantyhose, consider removing the center of the crotch.
- Tight clothes may be irritating the vulvar tissues (where sweat can accumulate), and when possible, wear loose fitting pants or skirts. Tight jeans may increase friction as you walk and further exacerbate irritation and redness.
- If you are a swimmer, remove wet bathing suits after you are done swimming and shower to remove all the chlorine. Put on a new suit afterwards.
- For the avid exerciser, shower after exercise to eliminate excessive perspiration and change your clothes promptly.