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Curiosity Central

Troubles down there? Tricks for tidy privates

Why does it smell funny down there? Should I use soap to clean my vulva/penis? Can I use perfume there? Are such questions on your mind? This week’s Curiosity Cental will tackle the same! Let’s jump in.



Gentle cleaning 

When it comes to keeping your private parts clean, the inside of your vagina (for girls) and the inside of your penis (for boys) generally take care of themselves through natural cleansing processes. That’s the reason why girls get some clear or white discharge sometimes in their underwear. However, it’s essential to clean the outside regularly. 

For this, you can use mild, unscented soap or just plain water. The key here is to be gentle and avoid using harsh products. While cleanliness is crucial, remember that excessive scrubbing, especially in sensitive areas, can irritate your skin. Be gentle in your approach to avoid discomfort.

No perfume down there! 

It’s important to remember that your genitals have a unique natural scent, which is entirely normal and even plays a role in physical attraction. Much like the scent of your armpits, it’s a part of who you are. While it’s perfectly okay to clean daily and before intimate moments, steer clear of heavily scented soaps or perfumed wipes. 

Say no to special washes 

Steer clear of scented products and intimate washes like Vwash unless specifically recommended by your doctor. Your body’s natural balance is designed to keep your intimate areas healthy, and these scented products can disrupt that delicate balance. If you have concerns or experience discomfort, it’s best to consult a doctor who can provide tailored advice and solutions to ensure your intimate health remains in good shape.

Anus last 

After cleaning your genital area, it’s vital to clean your anus. Again, use mild soap and water. Washing your anus last is essential because it helps prevent the transfer of bacteria from that area to your genitals, reducing the risk of infections.

Underwear hygiene  

Changing into clean, dry underwear is a good practice, especially after physical activities that make you sweat. Sweat can create a damp environment that bacteria love, potentially leading to skin issues or infections. 

Dry underwear also helps prevent discomfort and odour. Additionally, when using the toilet, always wipe or wash from front to back to avoid spreading harmful bacteria.

Dirty underwear can harbour bacteria and cause unpleasant odours. Changing into fresh, clean underwear daily will help you feel fresh and confident. Opt for underwear made from breathable fabrics like cotton. These allow air to circulate, reducing the risk of moisture buildup and discomfort, which is especially important in hot weather or during physical activities. 

Underwear care and fit 

Pay attention to how you wash and dry your underwear. Use mild detergents, avoid fabric softeners, and wash in warm water to kill bacteria. Ensure your underwear is completely dry before wearing it again to maintain optimal hygiene. 

Wearing underwear that fits well is essential. Tight underwear can cause chafing, while overly loose ones may not provide adequate support. Finding the right fit ensures comfort and reduces the risk of skin irritation. 

Also, never share personal items like towels and underwear. These items come into direct contact with our bodies, and sharing them can lead to the transfer of bacteria, fungi, or even infections.

Checking for changes

While practising genital hygiene, take a moment to inspect for any unusual signs. If you notice strange smells, unusual discharge, bumps, or any pain, don’t ignore them. Monitor these changes for a day or two. If they don’t improve or get worse, it’s essential to see a doctor to ensure everything is healthy in your genital area.

Care during periods for girls  

During menstruation, it’s crucial to use clean and sanitary menstrual products, like pads or tampons, and change them regularly to prevent discomfort and the risk of infection. Proper disposal of used products is also important to maintain cleanliness and protect the environment. Additionally, practising good hand hygiene during menstruation helps reduce the risk of infections.

Good hand hygiene  

Maintaining good hand hygiene is vital to prevent the spread of bacteria to sensitive areas like your genital region. Your hands come into contact with various surfaces throughout the day, and they can carry bacteria that you definitely don’t want in that area. 

Therefore, before using the restroom or engaging in intimate activities, make it a habit to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. It’s a quick and easy way to keep yourself feeling fresh and healthy.

Also, don’t forget: good hygiene isn’t just ‘down there.’ Your whole body’s in on it! Brush those pearly whites, shower up, and say bye-bye to sweat stink with deodorant. Keep those nails tidy; they can hide sneaky bacteria! And, whether you’re a hair hero or let it flow, a little grooming can keep you feeling fab.


Photo: Shutterstock/AJP/Person in the photo is a model, names changed.

Do you have any questions that are bothering you? Share with us in the comments box below. Remember no rude words or personal information in the comment box! 

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