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How can I fix my menstrual maxi pad rash? So uncomfortable wearing pads...

Question Posted Thursday June 25 2009, 3:06 am

This is super embarrassing but I figure I can't be alone, right?

So, when I'm on my period I use pads. I can't use tampons for health reasons so please no tampon suggestions, girls. Now, I've used the Always pads (Always Ultra Thin with Wings and the Regular absorbency) and I've used the store brand pads (Equate at WalMart and whatever else at various stores--including Family Dollar). I NEVER buy the scented versions because I'm sensitive to things like that and even as an infant I had problems with scented diapers and soaps. I even smell the packaging to make sure they don't smell like ANY sort of perfume before I purchase.

Typically, I have a fairly heavy period. I change my pad frequently. I would say that I change the pad every 1 and 1/2 to 2 hours, and every single time I go to the restroom, regardless of how much blood has made it to the pad.

Anyway, when I wear my pads it feels like I get sort-of raw or rashy down there at my vagina. It's a very uncomfortable feeling. I've rubbed around down there (I HAD to check it out) and I didn't feel any odd cuts, bumps, or anything that would make me concerned I had an actual rash or inflamed skin or something. I can't really SEE down there properly--and I don't really want to when I'm on my period anyway--so I don't know if visually it looks like a rash. It's just...uncomfortable, like I said.

I don't know why the pads do this to me. This has happened ever since I started my period. Seriously, I haven't had a cycle where this has not happened! I've tried the few different brands of feminine pads and they seem to ALL give the same reaction. Near the end of my period (usually lasts about 6 to 7 days, I'd guess) it's really irritating and I'm glad to be at the end of my period so I don't have to wear the pads any longer.

Out of curiosity, I suppose, is there any other girls who have this issue? Is there something I can do to make this not happen when I'm on my period? Does anyone have any ideas why I have this problem?

Any help? :\

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suzipuzi2001 answered Tuesday August 5 2014, 7:11 pm:
I relate to yours and many of the other posts here. I'd worn Always ultra thin overnights for years since at least high school through my early 30s. They kept me dry, leak-free (mostly), and weren't bulky. Around age 34, I started getting really irritated down there intermittently, with redness and peeling chafing along my groins. After a few iterations, I noticed that the irritation, peeling and chafing tended to happen towards the end of my period. At first I thought maybe intertrigo, maybe things were getting too moist, maybe i wasn't changing the pad frequently enough... Well, I made it a point to keep things dry (powder, clotrimazole cream, dabbing the groins with tissue after going pee. I also made it a point to change pads frequently. Well, it got worse. Prickly, itchy, beet red along the entire area of pubic hair. That's when I started suspecting the pad. after doing a lot of googling, I found some suggestions to try 100% cotton hypoallergenic pads -- those were a lot better, but the big downside with them is that they lose integrity quickly and seem to crumble/pill quicker than i'd prefer; the absorbency is also less and the blood kind of sits on top and doesn't go in as easily, which makes me feel less dry. That said, even with those pads I was still getting itchy along my pubic hair area. Next I tried Kotex -- better. I go for the overnight thin pads; they are a bit too wide though, and that gives me some groin irritation. I still had some itching with these though. I was about to settle for these, but then remembered there was also Stayfree. Stayfree used to make a TERRIBLE thin maxi that was pretty much like cardboard, so I'd departed from this brand many many years ago. But i decided to check it out again this cycle, and have been quite happy, actually! Their current ultra thin overnight maxi is actually fluffy and soft. Absorbancy is pretty good, i can't complain. I haven't been itchy/prickly yet, but i'm only on Day #3 right now. In fact the reason I found this thread is because i was searching for more info on the stayfree pads and why they would cause less irritation than the other ones.

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Peeps answered Tuesday August 18 2009, 3:56 pm:
I have experienced this exact same problem. It's terrible to have to deal with, especially when you're feeling under the weather because of your period anyway. I figured there wasn't much to do about it other than to change more often. I was wrong.

I was talking to my boyfriend one day and told him about the irritating pad rash I experienced during my cycle. He had previously looked at my pads before (curiosity, I'm sure) and mentioned that he thought the covering on them weren't very soft in his opinion. I changed to a few different pads (and tried the more expensive Always brand) but the pad rash never fully disappeared.

Then I was reading on a vitamin and health care website and read something about pads with no chlorine additives. See, to get the pads white in color, pad companies use some chlorine on the product. Chlorine on this sensitive area is not good, really, and had been thought of to even cause cancers and other female reproductive problems.

Anyway, I decided to try the pads. I figured they were about the same price as Always and if they didn't work then I didn't have to buy them again. They claim to be better for the environment, more biodegradable, and healthier for the female body. They are called Seventh Generation Pads.

So, I purchased the Seventh Generation maxi pads (for overnight and with wings, just for reference) and found that my pad rash didn't appear that cycle. I've since purchased more and have completely done away with this irritating rash that comes with the usage of pads! My guess is that I was sensitive to the chlorine that the other companies had added to their pads.

So, yes, try the Seventh Generation pads for awhile. It's really nice to not have the irritation :)

I buy mine from too. Vitacost seemed to have the best deal. Here is the link to the Seventh Generation pads that Vitacost sells:

[Link](Mouse over link to see full location)

Try them out! They solved my problem and hopefully they'll fix yours too :D

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healthadvice4you answered Friday June 26 2009, 11:40 pm:
Oh my god. I just googled "rash pad period" or some such combination of words, and I came upon your question! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ASKING THIS. I even created an account on this site to respond to this. I felt like a freak for getting a rash from wearing pads. Like you, this happens to me basically every month. I don't know about you, but for me, it hurts so so badly. Do you have chafing around your upper thigh, by your crotch/panty line? This sucks so badly, like it hurts/is irritating when I walk. Is it that painful for you?

I think I am going to change pad brands. And NO WINGED ONES EVER. I guess it most not be from not changing pads frequently enough, since you change yours a lot. At first I thought it was from the moisture and wetness, but apparently it happens even if you change it a lot. What do you think? It would be awesome if you responded because seriously I feel like I am the only one with this ridiculously painful rash problem. I hate periods! Ah.

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mariahwannabe answered Thursday June 25 2009, 2:01 pm:
Try thin, cottom underwear - you need to let yourself breath down there

Also, there are cooling creams and particulary specified for your problem - VAGISIL is popular one, order it online or find a similar one around somewhere -[Link](Mouse over link to see full location)

If you still not happy, see a doctor - I am sure they could prescribe you with a cream OR give you other options that us advice givers cannot.

Hope I Helped

Sage :)

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X3littlemermaidx3 answered Thursday June 25 2009, 12:56 pm:
Wear the pads that dont have wings and see if that helps.

Go see a doctor as well, maybe they could help you.

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