Welcome back to the blog!
Last week we introduced the this blog series by discussing intimate hygiene by understanding the proper way to cleanse, odor, wetness and how we can feel and smell fresh throughout the day If you haven't had a chance to read that blog, you can view it here.
Today we're going to discussing a common issue that affects both men and women and that itching and irritation. Itchy/irritated skin down there can leave you in pain and just miserable. Has your skin ever been irritated so bad that it was hard for you to sit or walk? If you've answered no, you're very lucky but if you answered yes, you're not alone.
So let's learn about what are some common causes that causes you to become irritated and itch down there.
Exposing down there to irritating products or chemicals can cause vaginal itching. These irritants may trigger an allergic reaction that creates an itchy rash down there. Common products include:
- bubble baths
- feminine sprays (Read last week's blog for more information)
- fabric softeners
How to treat it:
- Pay attention to your skin after using products. If you begin to itch terribly throughout the day, chances are it's not the product for you.
- Stop douching. Your vagina can regulate itself. It can take up to three days, but it will.
- Be careful when using detergents. If the scent is too strong, chances are it will irritate your skin. Also, don't use too much detergent. Using too much detergent can prevent the washing cycle to rinse your clothes thoroughly.
- Fabric softer can irritate the skin by adding too much into the wash cycle. Make sure you read directions prior to adding to the cycle. Fabric sheets are better to use than liquid. Liquids absorbs into the fibers of your clothes whereas sheets are only applied to the outside (granted you don't dry your clothes inside out).
You can prevent your urine or bowels from irritation you by cleansing your skin after using the bathroom. You can lightly cleanse with a little gentle soap or water, or you can use a cleansing wipe like Down There Skincare® Intimate Cleansing Towelette. You can also protect your skin by using a protectant balm such as the Down There Skincare® Intimate Skin Balm.
Yeast is a naturally occurring fungus that’s normally present in the vagina. It usually doesn’t cause problems. The overgrowth of yeast in the vagina can result in uncomfortable symptoms, including itching, burning, and lumpy discharge.
There are many potential causes of vaginal infections. Below is a list of the 10 most common reasons why vaginal yeast infections strike women according to ericbakker.com.
- A diet high in refined carbohydrates. This is most likely to be one of the commonest causes, too much sugar, soda drinks, candy, white bread and cookies and other convenience foods high in sugar.
- Pregnancy and childbirth. This is a time of hormonal turmoil and many women complain of vaginitis during their pregnancy.
- Menstrual dysfunction. A menstrual cycle which is irregular, particularly in the week leading up to the menstrual period, may encourage the proliferation of a yeast infection.
- Diabetes. Diabetics tend to pass more sugar (glucose) through their urinary tract than they should, and wherever there is an abundance of glucose in the body, a yeast infection is not far behind.
- Stress. Stress has a way of weakening the immune system, thereby creating a higher level of vulnerability for many types of infection, including a yeast infection.
- Pharmaceutical drugs. Birth control pills and antibiotics in particular have been positively linked with candida yeast infections.
- Nutritional deficiencies. Deficiencies in trace elements and vitamins can predispose a person to an increased vulnerability of a yeast infection. This is also tied in with a diet high in refined carbohydrates. These diets have a tendency to be calorie rich but nutrient poor.
- Chemical contamination. Vaginal tissue is very sensitive and vulnerable to the effects of certain chemicals, and the use of vaginal sprays and deodorants, colored or scented toilet paper may irritate the area decreasing the resistance of the immune system to yeasts and bacteria.
- Sexual intercourse. Excessive intercourse in a short period of time or insufficient lubrication may cause vaginal irritation and inflammation leading to a yeast infection.
- Clothing. The use of certain undergarments such as nylon panties or pantyhose or tight-fitting clothing such as jeans can lead to insufficient ventilation, and may help to provide a more suitable breeding ground for a yeast infection to develop.
Bacterial Vaginosis (B.V.)
Bacterial vaginosis is a type of vaginal inflammation caused by the overgrowth of bacteria naturally found in the vagina, which upsets the natural balance.
Women in their reproductive years are most likely to get bacterial vaginosis, but it can affect women of any age. The cause isn't completely understood, but certain activities, such as unprotected sex or frequent douching, increase your risk.
How to treat it:
It's recommended to see your physician/gynecologist to be diagnosed and treated for bacterial vaginosis. Most will prescribe you antibiotics. Please note, I have conducted a lot of research on BV. What I've learned is that not many African American women have received relief from antibiotics. In fact, they've stated it flat out doesn't work. Many have gotten great results on boric acid suppositories. Here is a great article explaining studies that have been conducted on boric acid suppositories treatment of B.V.
Physical and emotional stress can cause vaginal itching and irritation. Though it's stated that this isn’t very common, it may occur when stress weakens your immune system, leaving you more prone to the infections that cause itching.
How to treat it:
This is the easiest to combat. You need to reduce stress. You may be saying this is easier said than done. In some situations this is true, BUT you need to remember that nothing is worth your health. So whether you need to stop associating with someone, stop emotional eating that is leading to you eating foods you normally don't, change jobs, etc. you need to do it. Continuing to stress to lead to more serious health issues that itching down there starts to look like a walk in the park. So do yourself a favor and make the change(s) needed to eliminate stress.
These are the top 5 most common causes for itching down there. Of course there are many more and I encourage you to do your own research on the other causes. Speak with you physician or gynecologist about your concerns. And remember, if you don't feel comfortable with him or her, ask to be assigned to another one. You have that right!
Discussing this subject is so embarrassing for some no matter how old you are and I get that. I want you to know this is nothing to be ashamed of at least not at Beauty Mixtress LLC. We're here to guide in the right direction to seek the relief and confidence every woman and man deserves.
I hope you've found today's blog helpful and at least learned something new today that you can try or at least begin a healthy dialog with your doctor.
Leave me a comment below on your thoughts and questions.
Next week, we'll discuss shaving and waxing down there.
See you next week!