Friday, 1 November 2013

Skin Care Recommendations to Relieve Symptoms

                At the end of my assessment appointment I was given this sheet of skin care recommendations that may or may not relive some symptoms, maybe they’ll help you girls out, here they are:

1.       Avoid chemicals that might irritate the vulvar skin (i.e. soaps, douches, perfumes, over the counter vaginal preparations or feminine hygiene spray)

2.       Use soap substitutes such as gentle cleansers that are “hypoallergenic” (ex. Cetaphil, Dove or Aveeno brands)

3.       Do not use fabric softeners in your pants and underwear loads of laundry

4.       Do not use synthetic panty liners for menstruation or daily wear – most pharmacy’s or drug stores sell an all-natural brand that doesn’t dry out your vulvar skin (ex. Natracare pads), or you can purchase reusable cotton pads (can buy from health food stores, or You could also try a menstrual cup (ex. DivaCup, Keeper Cup [rubber product] or Moon Cup [silicone cup].

5.       Avoid contact with synthetic material – only wear cotton underwear and pantyhose with cotton panels

6.       Wear loose clothing that allows air circulation. Try to sleep without underwear as many nights a week as you can

7.       Use a sexual lubricant before and during intercourse as needed (i.e. personal lubricants in liquid form; ex. Astroglide, KY Sensual Silk, O My Lubricant). Do no use a gel lubricant.

8.       Use a moisturizer on vulvar skin after showering (ex. Clinaderm, Lubriderm, Glaxal base or Replens [a good moisturizer that can also be used as lubricant])

9.       Use Vaseline jelly or Penaten cream on sensitive vulvar skin areas as a protective barrier

When your vulva is hurting:

1.       If you only have mild discomfort with sexual intercourse, apply a numbing/freezing gel to the vestibule 5 minutes before intercourse (ex. Xylocaine 2%)

2.       After intercourse, sit on toilet or in bath tub and pour cool water over vulva. Can even apply a cold ice or gel pack to the vulva for 5 minutes.

3.       Do not scratch the vulvar skin. If itchiness is a problem, try to rinse off your vulva then use an ice pack, apply a moisturizer or a barrier gel/cream.

4.       If you’re experiencing pain while urinating, try rinsing during or after urination. If it’s too painful to urinate on the toilet, try sitting in a bath and urinating (the bath water will dilute the acidic urine and make it more comfortable)

Hope these tips help some of you out! I can tell you that the most useful tips for me have been: use of a barrier cream, no bubble/Epsom salt baths, using Xylocaine if I have to wear tight pants of underwear that sometimes causes pain, only wearing cotton underwear, and for sure investing in the Natracare pads! Before, I was just using whatever pad was on sale at the drug store or Wal-Mart or wherever, and my vulvar skin would become so dry, itchy, red and irritated; I haven’t experienced any of these symptoms with the Natracare pads, although I will sometimes also use a barrier cream (petroleum jelly). These tips won’t remove your major pain symptoms, but they definitely help with the unprovoked pains and the continuous discomfort we experience daily.
In the comments, leave your own tips and tricks that have helped relieve your daily discomfort!

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