WHEN VULVA SKIN CRACKS OR BURNS

“Sometimes it is as if my skin shrinks and sex feels like sandpaper”

RELIEF OF VULVA

Some women find that they better absorb creams or gels after being soaked. Try adding herbal water to your bath as a means to soften both the water and your body, especially if you find water to be bothersome.  Try Chamomile, use flowers and do not use a paper teabag, since they absorb the oil.

VULVA SKIN

The doctor may prescribe creams for your skin. In Denmark, it will often be a combination of estrogen and testosterone. If you don’t tolerate or if you wish not to use hormones, utilise balms, creams or oils that help you retain moisture. Besides, the soothing effect can support tissue health. Props & Pearls recommends Vulva Lip Balm, which contains shea butter and hemp oil. If you are very sensitive, avoid creams with water to ensure that it does not have a drying effect on your skin. Discuss with your doctor what is right for you. 

Protect fragile skin and lining during penetrative sex. Skin against skin might be rougher than you think. So use a silicone-based lubricant. You might try softening your skin before sex, use warmth to soften the skin. Let penetration be slow if it is the skin near the vulva hurting. Apply a cold cloth to the area, if it hurts afterwards. 

If you have very sensitive skin, it may be a good idea to let water or wet wipes replace toilet paper. 

WHEN VULVA BURNES

In the outer layer of your skin nerve endings are placed and can be very sensible causing burning, cutting and stinging sensation.

A way to try to overcome the nerves sensibility is to desensitize them. Desensitizing means, that you teach your nerves gradually to get used to light pressure, and that it does not mean that every touch is fatal. There is no standard treatment plan. Below is a suggestion to how you can work your skin.

You desensitise by regular daily self-treatment. You might choose to use a hand mirror to see that there is no outbreak although it might feel like it.

Start with some deep breathing. Then some kegel exercises: tensing and letting go. The letting-go part is vital. Think of it as allowing some fresh blood roll into an exhausted area. Top it with some stretching exercises.

When you have warmed up, massage the vulva using lubricantbasic creme or something smooth and gentle to minimise friction. Use a finger or a massager to:

  • Apply a stroke maybe with light pressure for a short while. Use deep let go breathing to make sure you do not tense your pelvic muscles, jaws or other. Build up the number of strokes and intensify pressure down in the tissue. 
  • Try to angle the pressure a bit to the sides to work on the flexibility of the pelvic muscles. Some suggest massage of the Bartholin glands extra thoroughly. They are situated where pelvic muscles are inserted. Remember deep breathing with let-go exhalation and never end up having pain afterward then you have exceeded your exercises.

Combine massage with the use of a dilator, getting accustomed to insertion in the vagina, learning the entrance of the vagina that pressure is ok.

If you feel relaxed, comfortable and up to it: you might even try to pleasure yourself either on your own or if with a partner. Investigate if you can get the clitoris to send some positive messages up to the brain.

Stretch your vulva skin and pelvic muscles

Your vulva tissue can be difficult to stretch. If you reckon that it would be beneficial to stretch your skin, you can try to sit on a small ball. When you sit on the ball, try to use the let go breath. 

Vaginal Dryness

Estrogen OR nonestrogen creams

Danish doctors may prescribe local estrogen. If you do not tolerate or choose not to use estrogen, you can use vaginal moisturizers, which adds lubrication. Typically, they moisturize over three days at a time. Props & Pearls recommends. Discuss with your doctor what is right for you.

Friction

If you experience that friction causes pain during intercourse, a silicone-based lubricant reduces that. Silicone has no drying effect unlike water-based lubricants and cannot be absorbed into the body. The lubricant will leave the vagina along with your normal secretions. Apply silicone cream on the penetrative object to assure the optimum distribution of lubricant in the vagina. Increased blood circulation can stimulate mucous membranes. You can achieve this by means of vibration, self-stimulation, or pelvic floor exercises.  (Props & Pearls recommends)

Discuss with your doctor what is right for you.

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