To maintain good feminine hygiene, women should bathe daily with a gentle cleanser and pay particular attention to areas with creases and folds. These areas include the vagina, ears, underarms, backs of the knees and feet. To avoid skin irritation, do not use harsh exfoliating products, such as loofahs and scrubs, to clean delicate areas. Instead, use your hands or a gentle cloth.
A healthy vagina is a self-cleaning organ, so regular visits to your gynecologist should be a part of your routine health maintenance program. To avoid introducing harmful bacteria into the vaginal area, there are several things women can do outside of their doctor's office, including wiping from the front to the back after using the toilet, using chemical-free feminine products and avoiding the use of douches. Feminine products, such as tampons and sanitary napkins, that contain chemicals can lead to toxic shock syndrome. Douching should be avoided because the products used can disrupt the natural pH balance of the vagina. As a result, douching can cause the problems that women often use douches to avoid. If you are douching because your vagina has an odor you find offensive, see your doctor, as douching may only make the problem worse.