To have an itch for something like traveling is nice. But that kind of “itch” definitely will not be talked about in this article.
We’re going to talk about the other itch – pad rash. Which is not that dreamy. So keep reading for some menstrual hygiene tips.
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- What Is a Pad Rash?
- An In-Depth Look at a Pad Rash
- Home Remedies for Pad Rash
- Putting it All Together
What Is a Pad Rash?
Simply put, a pad rash is a rash caused by friction, heat and the humidity/moistness from the blood all due to wearing menstrual pads (something similar is seen in babies – “diaper rash”).
It’s not enough that we have to physically bleed for 4 to 7 days straight, we also have to have a rash RIGHT THERE where we’re bleeding.
The cherry on top of this is the cramps, cravings, headaches, nausea and an abundance of emotional roller coasters. Ironically cherries are dark red.
PMS can’t live with it, can’t live without… no, wait, I actually could live without it!
But you probably didn’t come here for the definition of a pad rash, rather some more intel on it, and what to do about it.
So, in this article, we’ll take a look at questions like:
- Why does my vagina itch before my period?
- What causes pad rash?
- How often do you need to change a pad?
- How to get rid of pad rash?
Also, stay tuned for some home remedies for a rash caused by pads.
An In-Depth Look at a Pad Rash
Why Does My Vagina Itch Before/During/After My Period?
your body is NOT happy that it doesn’t get to be pregnant – so hormones are all over the place and NOT in the right levels.
This really means that dryness is a very common reason for itching because estrogen levels are LOW.
Pads (and also tampons) are not helping the situation, sister! Pads cause skin irritation during periods because they soak up all the blood and it makes it humid in that area.
It’s the same as baby diaper rash, that’s why parents usually want to change the diaper right after they’ve noticed something has happened in the diaper (also, because of the smell).
BUT it’s not the case with women during their period. Why? Because we bleed more often than a toddler pees their diaper. So changing your pad right after some blood came out – well, that’s a bit expensive.
It’s the same with tampons, trust me. ESPECIALLY if it’s your last days of the period.
Why? Because you must change your tampon at least every 4 hours because keeping the blood inside with the soaked cotton is NOT good.
But during the last days, the tampon doesn’t absorb that much liquid, which means you’re pulling out a pretty dry tampon AND the natural vaginal liquids (which are necessary for a healthy vaginal pH).
That just calls for more dryness, which leads me to the next point…
Your vagina is still recovering from the dryness because it was experiencing bleeding with pads or tampons, which kept the humidity and bacteria around that area.
This usually lasts just for a couple of days.
But all of this can be avoided altogether if you take the right measures to prevent a pad rash in the beginning.
What Causes a Pad Rash?
The main factors usually are dampness and chafing.
We all sweat throughout the day, that’s totally normal. That’s why during your period, it is a must to maintain high standards regarding your personal hygiene.
Dampness occurs because you have a pad that locks in all of the sweat, blood, bacteria.
Imagine – blood comes out of your body, the pad soaks it all in, and then you just keep walking with it, carrying around the damp pad.
Sorry, if this seems a not-so-pretty picture, but hey, Miss Coty is devoted to keeping things real! 🙂
Even if you have low blood flow, the dampness is still there. You’re not protected from rashes if you change your pad once a day.
You’re creating a small sauna down there. You’re just asking for rashes then.
Dampness often also goes hand in hand with chafing. Especially if you walk a lot during the day. If the area is being rubbed with something damp, it’s bound to become sore, or even a bit raw.
How Often Do You Need to Change a Pad?
One of the main initiators of a skin rash during menstruation would be not changing your pad frequently enough.
If you wear one for too long, it gets damp, sweaty, dirty, full of bacteria, so you want to have a clean one down there pretty often. I mean, your period is a part of your life, it takes from 3 to 7 days on average.
Make those days if not enjoyable, then at least neutral.
Don’t let mother nature give you one more problem (like a pad rash) to worry about.
So, change your pad every 4 – 6 hours! What? That often? Yes.
Think of it this way – why would you change a tampon every 4 (to 6) hours but not your pad?
It’s still the same amount of blood, so why not take care of things down there the same way you would if using a tampon?
Just because a pad is bigger and it seems that it could collect more than a tampon, doesn’t mean you should leave it for 10 hours straight.
Be high maintenance when it comes to your vagina!
How Long Does Pad Rash Last?
OK, it’s not a perfect world, right? You got a pad rash. What now?
Keep calm. Breathe. Eat some
chocolate fruits, they’re a better alternative for sweets.
The rash will most likely heal in a couple of days AFTER you remove your last pad. The skin will have a harder time healing if pads are still in the picture.
What may help – aloe vera gels due to the cooling effect it has on the skin. It cools the skin, reduces redness and inflammation, so the itching will also lessen.
If you are allergic to aloe vera, you can try Colloidal Silver Gel (link to Amazon.com) or any baby healing ointment.
How to Get Rid of Pad Rash?
So to sum it all up, here’s a table of pad rash causes on the left and the things you can do to prevent or treat them with on the right:
|Lack of airflow,|
| Synthetic materials|
(industrial pads or
How to Avoid Pad Rashes Forever
A great how to avoid a pad rash altogether is to start using a menstrual cup.
I’ve been using one for the last 5 years and I have no intention of going back to pads.
A menstrual cup works like a tampon, but it doesn’t make the vagina dry since it doesn’t absorb all the liquids inside the vagina (also natural and necessary vaginal liquids) as a tampon does.
A menstrual cup collects the blood in a bell-shaped silicone cup, leaving the natural vaginal liquids where they should be – inside the vagina.
But more on the God-sent miracle that are these silicone cups, you can read in my full guide for women on the best menstrual cups 2021!
(Or start by reading my article on menstrual cups vs tampons, which takes a closer look at both menstrual products.)
If you’re just not the type of girl that can/wants to insert her fingers inside the vagina or doesn’t want anything going inside, then please at least consider using either good organic menstrual pads or good organic tampons.
Home Remedies for Pad Rash
Coconut oil has some serious healing powers. It helps with rashes and burns. Apply it to the rashes and leave it overnight.
Virgin Olive Oil
If you don’t have coconut oil, you can use quality Virgin Olive oil. It’s no wonder why it’s considered the best oil for your dishes.
Not many people know that Olive oil can help heal your rashes just as well thanks to its anti-inflammatory benefits.
Mix together olive oil, honey, and beeswax (if you have it). If not 1/2 cup olive oil and 1/2 cup honey will be good too. It’s said to specifically help with baby diaper rashes, from a study made in Dubai.
Put it on several times a day and wash it off after a few minutes with warm water.
A very cheap, quick, clean and easy method to reduce pain and itching from pad rashes is cold compresses. All you need is ice and a clean towel.
Why does it help? Because by putting something cold on the infected area, you are slowing down the blood flow which also reduces the inflammation to that area.
However, DO NOT leave it on for too long. Put it on the area for max 10 minutes, then remove for the skin to relax for 10 minutes, then re-apply.
If you’re looking for the best Ayurvedic treatment for a rash caused by pads, then Neem is the answer. It’s perfect for rashes.
Boil the leaves in water. Take off the stove. Let cool. Apply it on the rashes with a cotton pad.
Or you can boil them, blend the leaves into powder, add a bit of water and then apply it to the rashes. Once the leaves dry (they will go from dark green to light green) wash off with warm water.
Chamomile Tea Bags
That’s it. Make chamomile tea.
Let the water cool. Put camomile tea bags on the itchiest places.
Or you can make a big bowl of tea. Like, a really big bowl… for you to sit in. Pour boiling water in a huge bowl, throw in 5 chamomile tea bags, let the water cool down to a temperature you can sit in.
Sit in chamomile tea, while drinking some chamomile tea!
Putting it All Together
I hope you’ve found out some useful things like how often do you need to change a pad, some home remedies for pad rash and just altogether basic menstrual hygiene tips.
If you have some questions, do not hesitate, please contact me or leave a comment. It’s a community of women helping out other women. 🙂