Here are some Self-Help tips to relieve symptoms and prevent further irritation. Even when your symptoms are under control, these guidelines are recommended as preventive strategies.
Clothing and Laundry
- Wear all-white cotton underwear.
- Do not wear pantyhose (wear thigh high or knee high hose instead).
- Wear loose-fitting pants or skirts.
- Remove wet bathing suits and exercise clothing promptly.
- Use dermatologically approved detergent.
- Double-rinse underwear and any other clothing that comes into contact with the vulva.
- Do not use fabric softener on undergarments.
- Use soft, white, unscented toilet paper.
- Avoid getting shampoo on the vulvar area.
- Rinse the vulva with water after urination.
- Urinate before the bladder is full.
- Use 100% cotton menstrual pads and tampons.
- Use lukewarm or cool baths to relieve burning and irritation.
- Do not use bubble bath, feminine hygiene products, or any perfumed creams or soaps.
- Wash the vulva with cool to lukewarm water only.
- Prevent constipation by adding fiber to your diet (if necessary, use a psyllium product such as Metamucil) and drinking at least 8 glasses of water daily.
- Use a water-based lubricant.
- Do not use contraceptive creams or spermicides.
- Apply ice or a frozen blue gel pack in one layer of a hand towel and apply to the vulva for 15 minutes to relieve burning after intercourse.
- Urinate (to prevent infection) and rinse vulva with cool water after s*xual intercourse.
- Avoid exercises that put direct pressure on the vulva such as bicycle riding and horseback riding.
- Avoid the use of hot tubs.
- Enroll in an exercise class such as yoga to learn stretching and relaxation exercises.
- Limit intense exercises that create a lot of friction in the vulvar area (try lower intensity exercises such as walking).
- Use a frozen gel pack wrapped in a clean thin towel or tee shirt to relieve symptoms after exercise.
- Don’t swim in highly chlorinated pools.
- Use a foam rubber for long periods of sitting.
- If you must sit all day at work, try to intersperse periods of standing (e.g. rearrange your office so that you can stand while you speak on the phone).