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Can petroleum jelly help to soothe period rash?

Petroleum jelly has many benefits, including healing minor cuts and burns. So some wonder if petroleum jelly can help to soothe sanitary pad rash as well. Let's find out.
petroleum jelly for period rash
Is petroleum jelly good for period rash? Image courtesy: @ user18526052/Freepik
Natalia Ningthoujam Updated: 17 Oct 2023, 06:29 pm IST
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Most women with dry skin see petroleum jelly as a saviour. It can be applied on various body parts such as dry elbows, lips and heels. It is loved by many as it doesn’t take long to turn dry skin into soft and moisturized. In fact, petroleum jelly is seen as a versatile skin care product. But is the moisturizing agent versatile enough to get rid of sanitary pad rash? Well, pad rash or period rash is something that some women end up with when during their menstrual cycle. Read on to find out if petroleum jelly is good for period rash.

Health Shots connected with Dr Sonali Kohli, Consultant Dermatologist and Venereologist, Sir H. N. Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Centre, Mumbai to find out all about treating a period rash with petroleum jelly.

petroleum jelly
Can petroleum jelly help to deal with period rash? Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Benefits of petroleum jelly

Petroleum jelly is a clear, colourless and odourless semisolid jelly-like substance that is made from a mixture of hydrocarbons. It is a non-comedogenic, which means that it will not clog pores. Dr Kohli calls petroleum jelly a versatile product that has many health benefits.

1. Petroleum jelly can help to moisturize skin

It is an effective moisturizer for the skin and helps to lock in moisture and prevent the skin from drying out. This can be helpful for people with dry skin, eczema or psoriasis.

2. Petroleum jelly can help to heal minor injuries

Whether it is kitchen work, gardening or playing with kids, we can get minor cuts, scrapes and burns. Petroleum jelly creates a barrier that protects the wound from dirt and bacteria, says the expert.

3. Petroleum jelly can help to treat dry skin on the feet

It helps to keep the skin moist and protected. It is a commonly used occlusive ointment that can provide a protective barrier on the skin’s surface.

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Petroleum jelly for period rash

Petroleum jelly can be helpful for various skin-related issues, but its use to prevent chafing or skin rash during sanitary napkin use may not be recommended, says Dr Kohli. Scroll down to know why!

period rash
Petroleum jelly might interfere with absorbency while using pads. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

1. Potential interference with absorbency

Sanitary napkins are made in such a way that they can absorb menstrual fluid effectively. Applying petroleum jelly on the skin in the area where the pad contacts the body, might interfere with its absorbency, reducing its effectiveness.

2. Increased discomfort

Petroleum jelly has a greasy texture that can cause the sanitary pad to shift or slide around. This will only lead to discomfort and there might be leaks too.

3. Potential irritation

Some women might be sensitive or allergic to petroleum jelly, leading to skin irritation or rashes, says the expert. This can further exacerbate the discomfort while you are down.

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How to treat a period rash?

There is still a way to soothe the area affected by period rash. Use a combination of a moisturiser with calamine lotion, suggests Dr Kohli. However, if the irritation is too much for you to handle, mild steroids might be prescribed. But don’t take the self-medication route and use it only under supervision of a dermatologist. You can also try these tips for preventing rash during sanitary napkin use:

1. Choose the right pad

Opt for pads that have a soft and smooth surface, and are designed to be gentle against the skin. Look for ones with cotton or natural materials that are breathable and help to reduce friction. Or better still, go for options such as tampons or menstrual cups.

2. Change pads regularly

Regularly changing your sanitary napkin helps to maintain cleanliness and prevents excess moisture buildup.

3. Maintain good hygiene

Keep your private area clean and dry by washing with mild, unscented soap and water during each pad change. Pat the area dry gently with a clean towel before using a fresh pad.

4. Consider panty liners

If you experience minor spotting or discharge, you can use panty liners instead of full-sized sanitary napkins, says the expert. Panty liners are thinner and can provide adequate protection without causing excessive friction or discomfort.

Petroleum jelly might not be the solution to your period rash problem, but you can still use it for various skin issues.

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About the Author

Natalia Ningthoujam has written on various subjects - from music to films and fashion to lifestyle - as a journalist in her career that started in 2010. After getting stories from the crime scene, police headquarters, and conducting interviews with celebrities, she is now writing on health and wellness which has become her focus area. ...Read More

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