Intimate parts irritation is a frequent disorder.
Irritations result from damage to vulvar skin and mucous membranes, i.e. external female genital organs.
Vulva contains: clitoris, mons pubis, vulvar vestibule as well as labia majora and minora.
These areas are very sensitive and prone to injuries.
Intimate parts irritations include:
The symptoms are connected with a great discomfort which is sometimes hard to manage. Such irritations are not synonymous with the infections of external genital organs, however disregarding them may lead to infections.
Irritations may be caused by seemingly trivial reasons, such as insufficient hygiene during physiological activities, wearing too tight underwear or abrasions caused by e.g. cycling.
Irritation versus infection
Irritations are not necessarily dangerous, but cannot be underestimated. A seemingly harmful abrasion may turn into an infection which often may have unpleasant course with itching, redness, and sometimes even swelling.
Vulvar infection is one of the most common infections of external genital organs. It is caused by damage to natural epithelium defence mechanisms. Vulvar infections should be definitely treated, as understating the disease may result in reinfections of vagina, urethra or urinary bladder.
Vulvar infections make take different forms.
Vaginal and vulvar infection – here the cause of vulvar infection is the vaginal inflammation during which a pathogenic discharge escapes outside the body and infects also the vulvar area.
Vulvar yeast infection – the most common cause are Candida albicans yeasts. Most commonly, vulva and vagina areas are infected. It is connected with favourable conditions of yeast growth due to humidity and higher temperature. The infection is accompanied by not very profuse, white and flocculent discharge. They are deposited on vulvar walls.
Bacterial vulvar infection – it is mostly connected with sexually transmitted diseases. They usually have very unpleasant course.
Women affected with the infection frequently make a common mistake as they wash the given part of their body too often, thus contributing to further irritation.
Causes of irritations
The causes of irritations and infections may include
- bad hygiene habits
- skin irritating hygienic products’ use
- swimming in the pool, in the sea
- shaving intimate areas
- wearing too tight underwear
- sex (including oral sex)
- bacterial and yeast infections
- allergy to hygienic products such as soaps, deodorants, powders, pads or even synthetic underwear
Women with diabetes are prone to a high risk of infections due to the increased number of carbohydrates in cells as well as post-menopausal women whose external genitalia epidermis becomes thinner, drier and less flexible due to lower hormone release.
How to avoid irritation?
- pay attention to the hygiene products used, in particular products including propylene glycol and SLSs, as they may cause irritation,
- it is important to care for the cleanliness and dryness of genital organs and to avoid their excessive heating (it is recommended to wear breathable underwear),
- in terms of good hygiene measures, it is important to remember to wash intimate areas from the front to the back,
- to avoid abrasions, use white, fragrance-free toilet paper, soft cotton or linen towels and cotton underwear,
- while sexual intercourse, use hypoallergenic, irritation-free lubricants,
- eat healthy food, rest more, relax and try to limit stress to the minimum necessary.