You may have heard that bad intimate hygiene can cause more damage than no hygiene at all. It may sound like an exaggeration, but it is absolutely true. Bad hygienic habits can be detrimental to your vaginal health, so do make sure to understand and follow some of the basic principles that determine proper intimate hygiene.
It is not a rare occurrence that women cause harm to their intimate health simply by thinking that proper intimate hygiene is based on the rule “the more, the better”. Take a look at why less is more when it comes to taking care of your intimate parts.
Human body is designed to stay in balance. Our entire body is connected, creating a very complex mechanism based on precise and delicate principles of maintaining balance in order to function efficiently and stay healthy. This is the reason why the vagina is a host to the millions of bacteria, living peacefully in perfect balance, causing no trouble.
That is, until the ratio of good to bad bacteria is compromised. Once the good bacteria are reduced in count, the bad bacteria take over and start to grow abundantly. The overgrowth of bad bacteria leads to infections such as bacterial vaginosis that manifests in uncomfortable symptoms, i.e. discharge, fishy odor, burning, itch and irritation. In order to stop the infection, we would need to reverse the process – reduce the numbers of bad bacteria and stimulate the growth of the good ones.
When it comes to the protective role of the skin, it is important to understand the structure of the skin and how it can be damaged. The surface of our skin is covered with a protective barrier. This barrier is the main gate keeper protecting the inside of our body from irritation and infection.
The protective barrier can easily be damaged by using harsh detergents and plain soap. These products strip away the surface layer, leaving the skin unprotected and open. That is why using an inappropriate washing product, or washing yourself too often, can damage the protective layer and expose you to a risk of infection.
It is important to keep in mind that the skin covering the intimate area is thin and very delicate. Any sort of harsh treatment, such as over-washing, rubbing, friction or strong detergents can cause irritation and infection. Wash yourself once a day using water or a gentle, natural intimate wash that doesn’t contain any perfume or other potentially irritating substances.
Dry the intimate area thoroughly using a soft, clean towel – pat gently, do not rub. If you feel the need to clean yourself more often than that (especially during menstrual bleeding, after exercise or when sweating excessively), you can use unscented intimate wipes or simply wash yourself using plain water.