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A woman sits on a towel at the beach, applying sunscreen to her back. Skin care, especial in your vaginal area, is important.

Get smart about caring for your skin

If you’re wearing anything to help shield against bladder leaks, moisture and friction can create problems.

Your skin is your body’s largest organ. It allows you to touch, feel and respond to everyone and everything in your environment. But some skin is more sensitive than others.

The skin in intimate areas is especially sensitive. This is partly because that skin itself is delicate, and partly because we typically protect it under layers of clothing. And if you’re wearing anything to help shield against bladder leaks, moisture and friction can create problems. 

Down-there skin care

Your skin works hard to maintain a perfect barrier against bacteria and a normal pH level (a measure of how acidic or alkaline it is) for your vulva. But that balance can be thrown off by extended exposure to moisture, especially the urine absorbed by protective liners, pads and underwear. Contact and movement can cause chafing, irritation and dermatitis. None of that feels good. During menopause, when lack of estrogen contributes to thinning of the skin, older women using incontinence protection products may experience even greater irritation and discomfort. 

A woman's hand washing her arm in the shower. Hygiene is vital to keep your skin healthy when dealing with leaks.

That’s why using protective products made with kinder, 100% breathable materials that keep you feeling clean, dry and odor free is so important. You also should look for liners, pads, underwear and personal cleansing wipes that take skin protection a step further. Using products made with materials that have been infused with natural baking soda, for example, helps regulate pH by neutralizing the acid in urine. In addition, enriching products with ingredients like vitamin E gives your skin some extra love to help keep it healthy looking. 

And keeping up good habits

Woman smiles over her bare shoulder. UI products with ingredients like baking soda and vitamin E can help keep skin healthy.

Other tips for down-there skin care include drinking your daily amount of water (so all your skin stays hydrated) and making sure to gently cleanse the area and give it time to dry after every leak and before getting dressed. When you wear protective products, take care to change them as promptly as possible. These steps and strategies will go a long way toward keeping you feeling fresh and making sure your skin stays beautifully protected.

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