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Personal hygiene: Should you use an intimate wash?


When it comes to maintaining personal hygiene, women pay a lot of attention to their skin and hair. Hygiene of intimate areas, however, is not as widely talked about. But just like any other part of the body, it is extremely important to take care of one’s intimate areas by keeping them clean to prevent infections and other health hazards.

While many women are unable to decide what is safe to use, some prefer intimate washes to clean their intimate areas. But is it safe?

“An intimate wash is a solution formulated especially for women to cleanse the intimate areas. Intimate wash is used for the treatment of dryness, itching and irritation of intimate areas. They also help in maintaining normal PH of the vagina which is important in preventing bacterial infection,” said Dr Megha Ranjan, assistant professor, Department of Obs & Gynae, Sharda Hospital.

The expert added that using soap to wash the intimate areas is, however, “not recommended, as it disrupts the natural vaginal flora, which will, in turn, allow the harmful bacteria to grow rapidly.”.

Dr Ranjan also said an ideal intimate wash product should be “soap-free with no irritants and hypoallergic”. Some of the key components to look out for while selecting an intimate wash are lactic acid, glycerin, sodium hydroxide, cocamidopropyl betadine and water.

For menopausal women, it is advised to include intimate washes in their personal cleanliness routine because they “experience hormonal changes which make their vagina extra sensitive and dry”.

“There are special intimate washes for menopausal women to maintain PH and to balance out vaginal flora,” Dr Ranjan added.

Like any other product, these washes should be used with discretion, as Dr Ranjan advised only “a small quantity should be taken in hand and used during toilet uses and showering” and should not be “overdone”.

Additionally, intimate washes for pregnant women “should not contain strong chemicals and should be paraben-free”.



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