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Women’s Day: Experts point out risk of chemical-ridden intimate hygiene washes



The chemical based intimate washes have too high level of germ killing activity, so use of these products to cleanse intimate area not only kills the bad bacteria but also destroys the protective good bacteria (Lactobacilli) that supports the healthy vaginal microbiome and balances pH of the vagina. Washing intimate area with chemical based intimate wash creates an imbalance in the delicate immunity protective microflora and may irritate sensitive intimate skin causing itching and dryness. Continuing this could increase the risk of vaginal infections due to overgrowth of yeast and pathogenic bacteria causing bacterial vaginosis and vaginal candidiasis, possibly leading to vaginal discharge, odour and discomfort.

Urging women not to ignore their intimate hygiene, health experts have warned against the use of chemical-ridden vaginal washes that increase the risk of infection.

Speaking on the eve of International Women’s Day, the experts on Sunday advised usage of hygiene products that have natural ingredients enriched with bacterial and fungus prevention properties.

“Women should use particularly those intimate washes which enhance their skin health and serve as a helpful add-on therapy for those with vaginal infections,” R P Prashar from Delhi-based Ayurveda Hospital said in a statement.

Sanchit Sharma, Executive Director, AIMIL Pharma engaged in manufacturing ayurvedic drugs, said keeping in mind the health hygiene need of women, researchers have developed ‘Ayouthveda Vagitone Intimate Hygiene Wash’ that is rich in green tea, ‘haridra’, ‘amla’ among others, known for their time-tested ayurvedic and anti-bacterial properties.

“Mostly, it has been found that chemical-based products have adverse health impact on women. Hence when it comes to internal organs of women, it is important to be careful,” he said.

He asserted that adding chemicals like silicon and artificial colours in such products should be strictly prohibited.

Prashar said there is widespread ignorance among women when it comes to their intimate hygiene.

In India, at least eight out of ten women are vulnerable to vaginal infection, while at least 80 per cent ignore the importance of internal hygiene due to which they face various bacterial and fungus infection issues, according to data.

Similarly, women in the age group of 18 to 45 years do not share such problems either due to their busy schedule or shyness, as per several studies.

The Union government has also been stressing on safe hygiene practices.

The Ministry of Medium, Small and Micro Enterprise’s (MSME) Flavour and Fragrance Development Corporation (FFDC) has prepared the natural face serum and fragrance, and recently transferred the technology to AIMIL.

With increase in the risks associated with intimate douching with soap and shower gels, external intimate washes are considered as more appropriate for intimate health and hygiene. Particularly those intimate washes which are natural and free from harmful chemicals that augments skin homeostatis; serves as a helpful add-on therapy in women with vaginal infections. 

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