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Why do rashes occur on wearing sanitary napkins?

Rashes due to wearing sanitary pads are one of the most common complaints that women have. There are several reasons as to why the rashes could be occurring and some easy ways to minimize them from happening at all.

The most common causes of rashes are either an excess of moisture or dryness of the skin in the area. People who have sensitive skin will develop rashes because of the dampness that builds up in the area where their skin is contacting the sanitary pad. An increased amount of sweating or dampness caused by the menstrual blood not absorbed by the pad are things to guard against.

The other side of the coin is dryness. The increased amount of heat from wearing the sanitary pad can cause dryness of the skin and then chafe it during walking, running or other routine movement.

There is also some evidence that the material used to make sanitary napkins could be the main reason for developing this rash. In such a case, the person would be suffering from rashes on changing the sanitary napkins frequently, on using those available from different manufacturers and even when sanitary napkins were used as a test outside of the period days.

Methyldibromo glutaronitrile is one of the chemical agents that are used in the manufacturing of sanitary napkins and has been found to cause contact dermatitis in a small number of people.


The appearance of itching or rashes near the vaginal area could also be an indication of an infection. Usually, though, there will be some kind of discharge that occurs when infection is the chief cause. Possible types of infection could be candidiasis (yeast), trichomoniasis, pubic lice, and scabies.

How to prevent the rashes from occurring?

The best way to prevent these rashes from occurring is to change the sanitary napkin become it soaks up too much blood and starts to become damp. In some ways, this rash is similar to the diaper rash that babies can develop if their diapers are not changed frequently enough.

It is also important to maintain proper hygiene during the menstrual cycle so that there is no infection that can occur and cause the rashes.

People who have sensitive skin may also want to visit their dermatologist so that they can examine the area and advise the best way to prevent these rashes from appearing.

How to take care of the rashes?

Avoid using any soaps or shower gels on the rashes because they could exacerbate the condition. The best method is to gently clean the area with warm water and then gently patting down to dry it. You should also keep some non-irritant wet wipes with you. In case of a sudden onset of itching, or burning sensation, gently use these wet wipes to clean the vulva.

There are several over the counter gels, creams or ointments available for use in these rashes that should be able to provide you relief. In case, they are unable to then you need to meet your doctor and have the rash examined more closely. 

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