Monday, July 4, 2011

Feminine Hygiene

What are simple ways to take care of my skin?
Our skin helps to protect us from germs. Although we need to clean our bodies of dirt and germs, the skin needs its natural oils to work well. Gentle washing with mild soaps and warm, not too hot, water is all that is needed. Buffing or other rough treatment should be used only on tough skin like our feet. Daily moisturizing with a cream containing a sunscreen will help protect our skin from the sun's harmful effects, like skin cancers and wrinkles. Apply sunscreen daily to all body areas not covered by clothes.

What is the best way to keep the genital area clean?
The skin of a woman's genital area also works to protect her from germs. There are natural oils and discharge that keep this area healthy. The skin and the lining of the vagina are very sensitive. Any chemical or perfume can break down the natural protection of this area and even start infections. Gentle daily cleaning on the outside skin with mild soap and water is all that is needed.

What about vaginal discharge and odor?
The body produces a milky discharge that naturally cleanses the vagina. When women douche or use tampons or pads, they are removing the natural protection of the body against infections and odor. Regular use of such things as minipads can even make the body form more discharge in an attempt to protect itself. Limit using these pads to the times when you may spot with your period. Do not douche unless it is recommended by your healthcare provider.

Everyone's private area has a normal odor that cannot be removed or covered no matter how much we try. Deodorants and perfumes added to pads and tampons may cause allergy problems with this sensitive skin. If the odor is strong or the discharge yellow, this may indicate that something is wrong. An exam by your provider may be needed to find the cause.

How can I help vaginal dryness caused by menopause?
Women in menopause may notice that the natural moisture of the vagina decreases. Sexual activities can become uncomfortable because of this dryness. The skin cannot protect itself and may need more wetness. There are several ways to take care of this. Hormones that are taken regularly can help with this problem. Nonprescription gels and inserts have also been made to help women with this type of dryness. Be sure to use unscented products.

What else can I do?
Other important feminine hygiene tips include:
  • changing underwear daily
  • wearing underwear with a cotton crotch to help pull moisture away from the body
  • wiping from front to back after going to the bathroom
  • changing tampons and pads every 4 to 6 hours when on your period, and
  • sleeping without underwear or in loose-fitting pajama bottoms.

Article Source:
1. Baptist Memorial Health Care - Feminine Hygiene.

1. - Feminine Hygiene.

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