Napkin Allergy: How to Deal with Skin Irritation


Alternatives to sanitary pad

Women have to deal with many issues during their monthly period. Right before it happens, most women often experience PMS. They may feel irritable or emotional. They may also feel bloated or experience migraine attacks. During a woman’s menstruation period, she may experience dysmenorrhea, fainting spells and napkin allergy. Skin irritation due to napkin use is quite common, so it is important to take necessary steps to prevent the occurrence. Here are some helpful tips.

Change pads frequently

It does not matter if your pad is empty or filled. Changing napkins should not be based on how heavy your flow is. It should be regularly changed every three to four hours. This is the golden rule. Even when sanitary pads are scarcely filled with blood, traces of urine and moisture can be present. This can harbor bacteria which can cause rashes to form.

Look for the best brand of sanitary napkins for you

Napkins come in different forms. Some are thick, others are thin. Some pads have cotton films while others have net perforated film. Avoid wearing pads with plastic linings because they can irritate the skin when it rubs it. Others find the net, perforated film less irritating than those with cottony surface.

Trim it

Some women swear that regularly trimming their genital hair before their period can prevent or minimize rashes, boils or itchiness. Hair in the area can harbor bacteria because blood can be trapped in the shaft and follicles. In addition, shorter genital hair makes it easier to clean the area. Just make sure not to trim it too short as this can also cause itchiness in the area.

Warm compress helps

If skin irritation is already present it could help to apply warm compress in the area. The warm temperature helps soothe sore skin and acts as analgesic if there is pain. Washing the vulvar area with plain, warm water can also help. Make sure to do this before every napkin change. If possible, stay away from heavily perfumed feminine washes, harsh soaps and feminine sprays.

Switch to other alternatives

Tampons are a great alternative to sanitary napkins. It is actually more effective in absorbing menstrual blood and lessens stains and back leaks. However, there are women who are also allergic to tampons as well. In this case, the menstrual cup would be the best alternative. It is more eco-friendly because it can be washed and reused. It is also economical because it can last for five years. The disadvantage of menstrual cups is its lack of availability in local markets.

Topical applications help

If all else fails, topical hydrocortisone, zinc oxide creams, talcum powder containing calamine and zinc, and nappy creams can help minimize the irritation. Visit a doctor to have your rashes check. He or she can recommend the best product for your condition. If your allergy persists, see a doctor immediately to prevent it from leading to toxic shock syndrome.


When having your menstrual period, cleanliness is always emphasized. Always ensure that your genital area is washed regularly. If you need to apply moisture barrier products to prevent a napkin allergy, by all means, do so.


Photo credit: “Fleurcup and tampons” by גביע האלופות, work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.


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