Sweat. Glow. Shine. Perspiration. Whatever you want to call it, every woman has had to combat that dreaded swampy feeling.
You’ve likely dealt with it all: pit stains, damp sports bras, and makeup that doesn’t last past lunch—but as the days get longer (and so much hotter), you may find yourself combating sweat around your lady bits, too.
Here’s what you need to know if you have problems with sweat below the belt, and what you can do to wick away the moisture.
Why do you get sweaty around your vagina, anyway?
First, you’ll need to understand why you perspire at all. “Sweating is your body’s air conditioner,” says Joyce Imahiyerobo-Ip, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Massachusetts. “It provides the body with a way of cooling itself down.”
Certain areas of your body have a higher concentration of hair follicles and sweat glands, like your armpits, groin, and scalp. “Most women tend to notice more sweating down there during extremely warm temperatures or during intense exercise,” Dr Imahiyerobo-Ip says, although sweat can also be triggered by stress.
Okay, so things might get a bit damp, but ever notice that it tends to smell down there as you sweat, too? That’s because your vaginal area is home to two different types of sweat glands, explains Suzanne Friedler, MD, FAAD of Advanced Dermatology, PC in New York City. (Reminder: your vagina is the inside portion of your body, and it doesn’t sweat. Everything surrounding it is your vulva.)
Most of your body is covered in eccrine glands, which produce a watery sweat as your system tries to cool down, like after a hard run. But you can also find odour-producing apocrine glands around your groin, the kind that typically only hang out in your armpit.
How to deal with sweat around your vagina
So what you can do about that panty-adjacent perspiration? Keep these tips in mind next time things feel too moist for comfort down there.
Wear the right fabric
First things first, avoid panty liners if you can. They aren’t breathable and can actually cause you to sweat more since they trap heat.
Then, choose your underwear carefully. If you’re working out, ditch your clothes ASAP after exercising to cut down on the risk of skin conditions like folliculitis (inflammation of hair follicles) or yeast infections.
Trim things up
Especially during the warmer months, doing a bit of grooming below the belt can also help minimize sweat.
Talk to a pro
If your sweat seems to be out of control or you think you might be dealing with hyperhidrosis, visit a dermatologist.
Bottom line: Sweating down there is normal
“Vaginal sweating is not a symptom of any other worrisome health condition,” says Dr. Parks. If it truly bothers you, trying one of the tips above or talking to your derm can help.