7 Nasty Skin Problems You Can Get From Having Sex
Photography by Flickr
And don’t worry… they’re not all STDs
Hands up if you worry more about that one pimple on your chin and a greasy complexion more than your skin down there. Yeah, you’re not alone.
But, did you know that the skin on your lady bits is about a million times more sensitive than the skin on your face? This one of the reasons why sex feels so great. Sadly for us, that sensitivity can also lead to some pretty gross problems. The kind of problems that require more than a fancy makeup remover to solve.
So, in an effort to clue you in, here are some of the most common skin issues that can rear their ugly head post-coitus and how to avoid them in the future.
1. You have an allergic reaction to condoms
Does your vagina get super itchy or irritated right after sex? If you used a latex condom then you might actually have a latex allergy (yup)! You could even feel a burning sensation the moment you come into contact with condoms.
Fix it: You could stash a 1 percent hydrocortisone cream, in your bedside table draw so you can apply it to your vagina the moment you have a reaction. It can, however, burn so be cautious. No cream? You can also apply an ice pack to numb the nerve endings on your lady parts.
You could also forgo the latex completely and try lambskin condoms instead. They are a contraceptive, but FYI, they won’t protect you from STDs.
2. You develop a reaction to his semen, soap, or lube
It’s actually pretty rare to have an allergic reaction to your partner’s semen, but it can happen.
More than often what people think is an allergy to semen, turns out to be a reaction to the soap he’s using on his bits (get him to switch to a hypoallergenic soap ASAP). You itchy or rash could also be caused by the lube you’re using.
READ MORE: 5 Reasons Your Vagina Hurts
Fix it: If you have an allergic reaction, try and apply an over-the-counter topical steroid to your vulva. When it comes to applying topical steroids, rather go for a cream instead of an ointment – cream adheres better to your vagina, because it is lined with a mucus membrane. But if nothing seems to be working, it’s best to give your doctor a visit so that they can identify what is actually irritating your lady bits.
3. You’ve torn your skin
All we can say is, ouch! Occasionally, vaginal skin can tear after intercourse, but it’s generally far more common after anal sex. If your partner is well-endowed or the sex is particularly rough, you can develop small lacerations. The tears will generally occur at the vaginal opening and can cause a burning sensation or even bleeding.
Fit it: If a tear doesn’t stop bleeding or is really painful, make an appointment with your doctor. Next time you get down, try foreplay and lube up… that can help prevent little tears.
Anal tears, however, are different and can be incredibly painful. Your rectal tissue is far more sensitive than your vaginal tissue, and if you had a rectal tear the pain will be constant. You’ll find going to the bathroom unbearable. So, you’ll need to head to the doctor ASAP for a stool softener. If you are going to have anal sex, the best way to prevent these tears from occurring is to make use of lube.
4. You develop trichomoniasis
STDs like gonorrhoea hardly ever cause vaginal skin irritation, but trichomoniasis, a lesser-known STD, does. It’s not as recognisable as herpes, but believe it or not, it’s actually pretty common. How do you know if you have it? Your first clue will be the itch… it will be intolerable. The second is that you might notice a grey discharge in your underwear.
Fix it: The STD will need to be diagnosed by a doctor and both you and your partner need to take antibiotics to get rid of it. It tends to thrive in acidic environments, you can make your body less hospitable to the STD by loading up on veggies and cutting down on sugar. Remember, condoms will help reduce your risk of catching or transmitting STDs.
5. You catch herpes
Already have herpes? It’s possible that the friction from sex can actually trigger an outbreak. If you don’t have herpes and contract it during sex, it’ll take about a week for an outbreak to show up (they’re a cluster of painful red blisters on your bits).
Fix it: Wearing a condom can reduce the risk of contracting herpes, however it is generally spread via skin-to-skin contact… and the condom may not cover the area where the virus is present. Try and avoid having sex when an outbreak occurs because the transmission rate will be much higher. FYI: You CAN contract herpes through oral sex, so remember that next time your guy goes down on you with a cold sore.
6. Genital warts show up
This is a tricky one: You might not even know you gave them, as that can sometimes take years to show up. Again, condoms will reduce the spread of genital warts, but you can still catch them because the condom might not cover the area where the warts are present. If you already have HPV, it’s possible that the friction from sex could irritate them.
READ MORE: Vaginal Infections 101
Fix it: You could soothe them with ice packs etc, but you should really just get them removed.
7. Your vagina is ‘irritated’
It’s itchy, irritated and there’s a horrible smell. Yup, you could have forgotten to pull out a tampon before sex and now it’s wedged in your vaginal canal.
Fix it: Sometimes easier said than done, but what you really need to do is try and remove it yourself. If you can’t reach it or locate it, head straight to your gynae. The longer you leave it up there, the more likely you are to develop an infection or worse TSS.