The temperature is cooling down, which means layers upon layers of clothes. With the heightened possibility of nether-region irritation, we’re on the hunt for undergarments that will do the least harm during this risky time. And the “best” underwear, friends, is tried-and-true cotton.
“Cotton, in general, tends to be non-irritating to your skin,” says Raquel Dardik, M.D., of NYU Langone Health. “The external skin around your vagina is like regular skin but just a little bit more sensitive. So if you have material that irritates your skin normally, you might have minor inflammation to the area.”
It's not just a sensitivity issue, either. Cotton is known to be one of the most breathable fabrics out there, which makes it better for your skin — and also your vagina. “Most of the synthetic fabrics as well as silk are not that breathable,” Dr. Dardik says, “and for women who have sensitive skin and yeast infections, the most breathable material [like cotton] is really what works best [when it comes to underwear].”
Why? Well, yeast thrives on moisture — so if you trap moisture in your fussy silk or mostly nylon blend underwear, you're creating a prime breeding ground for an infection (ouch). “Of course, if you're the kind of person who never has issues with vaginal irritation and infections, you can wear whatever you want,” Dr. Dardik says. But if you're prone to annoying vaginal problems, opting for underwear made up of mostly cotton — or at the very least with 100% cotton lining — is your best bet.
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