A delicate topic for a delicate area

June 3, 2008

Assuming that you are like the majority of us, you get into the shower or bath and go to it with the soap or shower gel over your entire body. What you may not know is that many natural practitioners advise against using soap in the genital area because it can cause you problems. Soap should not be used to clean these ‘no-go areas’; the vaginal opening, the tip of the penis, and the anal sphincter. Why not? Because regularly applying soap to these areas can cause the mucosal lining to become dry and unhealthy and that in turn can lead to a number of uncomfortable health conditions. The two most common ones are chronic inflammation and a greater tendency to experience infections.

So please keep the soap away from those delicate openings and use it sparingly on the rest of your body. Nature has already rather cleverly designed your skin so that it is lined with sebaceous glands that secrete an oily substance called sebum, which is what keeps your skin waterproof and resistant to infection by undesirable microorganisms. It’s sebum that prevents soap from drying out skin to a point where significant health challenges can arise, but the mucosal linings of the genital and anal area don’t secrete sebum so they don’t offer the same offer the same protection against the drying effects of soap. So am I suggesting you don’t wash those areas at all? Certainly not, but just stick to using warm or hot water – the continental use of a bidet has a lot to recommend it. You may never have experienced any problems with using soap, but if someone is particularly sensitive to infection or inflammation then it is advice worth passing on.


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