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Vulvar Care 101

Woman sitting on a stool with bare legs held by her arms. Tattoos on he arms and legs.

See your doctor if you experience vulvar rashes, itching, burning and/or unusual vaginal discharge. Even if medication is required to treat your primary condition, observing the following ten vulvar care tips is an essential part of treatment success.

  1. Avoid all scented soaps, bubble bath, or other personal care products.

  2. Do not apply bar soap directly to the vulva; simply clean with warm water and/or a mild unscented soap to wash vulva (ie. Cetaphil Face Cleanser), and rinse well after showering or bathing.

  3. Do not use wipes to wash the vulva.

  4. Do not use recycled toilet paper.

  5. No vaginal douching. Ever. The vagina is like a self-cleaning oven; this means we do not need the sundry vaginal cleansers or other products marketed to help “freshen” our vaginas.

  6. Do not shave or wax the vulva. Shaving, waxing, laser hair removal, and depilatory creams can all produce or worsen vulvar irritation. Trimming with clippers is less likely to irritate the skin or cause ingrown hairs.

  7. If needed, use water-based, unscented/unflavoured lubricants for sex play. Coconut oil may also be used, although not with condoms as oils will degrade condoms and lead to breakage!

  8. Only wear cotton underwear. Do not wear underwear to bed.

  9. Wash underwear in unscented soap or detergent; do not use fabric softeners, dryer sheets or bleach.

  10. Only use sanitary napkins when needed (not everyday use), and not the Always brand (it is a common cause of vulvar contact dermatitis).


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