Eczema on Sensitive and Private Places
So, the title of this blog is sort of a euphemism.
Eczema can happen anywhere on the body, and one of the most painful, irritating, and embarrassing areas you can get a flare-up is in the genital region. The symptoms of eczema in your genital area are pretty much the exact same as anywhere else: red, cracked, itchy skin that can become infected with a watery discharge.
We tend to associate painful, red, itchy skin in the genital area with a variety of sexually transmitted infections. Even though eczema is in no way contagious or sexually related, it can still make us incredibly self-conscious while greatly impacting your personal life for obvious reasons. Ignoring the embarrassing side of genital eczema, it can also be quite a bit more painful than a normal flare-up, as the skin in these regions tends to be far thinner and more sensitive.
If your eczema child develops a flare-up in these areas, it’s vitally important that they don’t scratch or further irritate the skin. As said before, the skin in this area is especially thin and sensitive, and you do not want a skin infection anywhere near their genital area. Treating toddler eczema is difficult enough when the flare-up is in a much less sensitive area, let alone dealing with an infection at the same time.
Another issue with eczema in the genital area is that the skin is often covered by at least two layers of clothing (pants and underwear). This means that the skin has very little room to breathe. It also promotes sweating, which can create chafing, exacerbating the condition. For children and adults, this calls for eczema clothing. Adults are probably limited to wearing cotton underwear, as it is generally an eczema-safe fabric, and taking off pants when you are safe at home to let the area breathe. Eczema children have the options of an Eczema Rescue Suit or Wrap-E-Soothe Bottoms. These pieces of eczema clothing are made from Tencel, an incredibly soft fabric that actually has anti-itch properties. It will help soothe and protect this sensitive skin, leading to eczema relief for babies and toddlers, as well as giving this sensitive area a chance to heal. Wet wrap therapy can be especially effective in treating eczema in the genital area, for both eczema children and adults. Be sure to use an eczema-safe moisturizing ointment under your wet wraps for eczema.
If you do develop an heavy itch and red skin in the genital area, it is vitally important that you go to your doctor to get tested for sexually transmitted infections. Although you might suspect it is an eczema flare-up because of prior symptoms elsewhere, it could also easily be an STI such as Herpes Simplex or HPV. If you’ve been sexually active with a partner, make sure you keep them informed, taking care to use protection or abstaining from sexual activity while you are waiting for the results.
Eczema in the genital area is just the same as eczema anywhere else on the body. However, a flare-up in the genital area can raise issues of self-consciousness for many people. Just remember, there is no shame attached to it—it is simply how your skin reacts. Take care, use eczema wraps to soothe the skin, and be kind to yourself.