vulvar care tips: how to maintain a healthy vulvar and vagina

Many women experience uncomfortable, vaginal infections (vaginitis) at one time or another. In order to keep vulvar and vagina healthy, vulvar care is important.

The goal of vulvar care is to keep the vulva dry and free from irritants. In this way, you can prevent the vulva from becoming red, swollen and irritated. Because many infections are introduced into the vagina, these tips also provide a basis for good, vaginal care.

Tips for vulvar care

Use only warm water to wash the vulva. Dry thoroughly with a clean towel. (If the vulva is very irritated, you can try drying it with a blow dryer set on cool.)

The vagina cleanses itself naturally in the form of normal, vaginal discharge. Avoid using douches unless prescribed by your physician. These products can upset the natural balance of organisms.
Wear only white, 100 percent cotton underwear. Avoid wearing nylon, acetate, or other manmade fibers.
Avoid wearing thongs.
Rinse underclothes carefully after washing. Or, double-rinse.
Wash new underclothes before wearing.
Use a mild soap (such as Woolite®) for washing underclothes. Do not use detergents (especially Tide) or fabric softeners (including dryer sheets.)
Use soft toilet tissue (white only).
Use tampons instead of sanitary napkins to control menstrual bleeding. (Do not use deodorant tampons.) Do not leave tampons in for a long period, due to toxic shock syndrome.  Do not leave tampons in all night.
Take Aveeno® sitz baths daily, if prescribed by your health care provider.
Don’t scratch.
Avoid wearing nylon pantyhose or panty girdles. They trap heat and moisture, providing an ideal breeding environment for organisms. When nylons or leggings are required, wear cotton or nylons with a cotton panty.
Avoid these feminine hygiene products, which can irritate the vulva: sanitary pads, feminine spray and deodorants, Vaseline®, oils, greases, bubble baths, bath oils, talc, or powder.

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