I am 44 years old and about 6 months ago, I had an issue with an itchy bottom. It is not all the time, but it seems to be worse when it is time for my monthly menses.

I didn’t ask the doctor when I had my recent pap smear, but he said everything looked normal. However, I am really embarassed by it.


As you get older the skin near the vulva and perineal area is more sensitive. You may want to get some over the counter hydrocortisone ointment if the skin is itchy. Do NOT wear pads or liners unless you are bleeding and be sure to review our list of Do’s and Don’ts in the care of the skin of the vulva as well as your vagina.

General Vulva Care

The goal is to keep the vulva dry and the vagina free from irritants. Below is a list of items that should either be done or avoided for vaginal hygiene.

DO’S

  • Avoid soap when washing vulva, warm water only or only very mild soap like Ivory or Dove.
  • Wear only white, 100% cotton underpants
  • Rinse underclothes carefully after washing and wash new underclothes before wearing
  • Mild soap for washing underpants no detergents, use Ivory or Dreft.
  • Use soft toilet tissue - white only! No colors or fragrances.
  • You can moisturize the vulva externally with vaseline (but not in vagina) or olive oil or aquaphor.
  • After toileting, if using toilet paper always wipe always from front to back end.
  • Double-rinse laundry (avoid bleach or other strong detergents for undergarments)
  • Consider using repHresh vaginal gel every 72 hours. This is available over the counter without prescription and can help treat elevated vaginal pH (which can lead to odorous amines)
  • Consider eating yogurt (like Dannon or Stonyfield which is rich in lactobacillus/acidophyllis-the ’healthy’ bacteria for the vagina and bowel.

DON’TS

  • Scratch
  • Use harsh soap, detergents, or fabric softener or dryer sheets with underclothing.
  • Use nylon or rayon ONLY COTTON
  • Wear pantyhose or panty girdles or thong underwear and avoid tight pants and AVOID PANTY LINERS; IT IS BETTER TO WEAR COTTON UNDERWEAR AND CHANGE AS NEEDED RATHER THAN TO USE LINERS.
  • Engage in activity that causes perineum to remain wet (like in hot tubs, swimming pools)
  • Use Vaseline, oils, greases, bubble bath, bath oils, feminine sprays, etc.
  • Use talc or powder
  • Use douches, unless prescribed by physician

All My Best,
Nurse Mary

February 13, 2015 at 2:15pm