Expert Tips For Your Skincare Down There

Your dermatologist-approved guide to maintaining your intimate skin health.
Expert Tips For Your Skincare Down There
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When it comes to skincare, most conversations don’t stray far from the face, but what about the skin below the belt? It’s an area we tend to overlook or feel embarrassed by, especially when experiencing incontinence and intimate skin irritation.

According to the Canadian Urinary Bladder Survey, 33 percent of women over 40 experience incontinence symptoms, but due to stigmatization only 26 percent have discussed it with their doctor. The reality is, incontinence can happen at any stage of life—including after pregnancy and during perimenopause or menopause—and be caused by a variety of factors, such as certain medications. Beyond incontinence, though, there’s an additional issue that’s even less talked about.

Nearly half of women who experience incontinence also experience intimate skin irritation (47 percent), and half of all women over 24 will go through at least one episode of vulvar or vaginal discomfort, which could include dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis or an infection, among other conditions. “Sometimes there is this embarrassment and anxiety that doesn’t allow women to feel comfortable talking about their issues with a doctor,” says Dr. Marlene Dytoc, a vulvar dermatology specialist and clinical professor of medicine at the University of Alberta. “This conversation should be more mainstream so people will come for help sooner than later.”

Woman lying on her stomach across a bed with a pack of TENA incontinence pads next to her.
Enter TENA. The global leader in incontinence is dedicated to supporting intimate health challenges like incontinence and related skin irritation while also breaking the stigma through education and innovative products. TENA Sensitive Care® pads, feature the brand’s new dermatologically approved SkinComfort Formula™, which provides up to 100 percent frictionless protection and helps protect intimate skin from irritation. 

With Dr. Dytoc’s help, we want to empower women to no longer be ashamed of how our bodies naturally evolve, starting with these intimate skin health tips to help you feel more comfortable and confident from head to toe.

Restore your pH balance

Our bodies naturally regulate pH levels in different areas, maintaining a slightly acidic environment in the vagina to prevent issues like bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections. Imbalances, signalled by changes in odour, discharge colour or vulvar discomfort (think swelling, redness, burning or itchiness), can result from external factors such as alkaline water, fragrant soaps, tight clothing, diet or menstrual blood, underlining the need for mindful care.

“Your skin in your genital area can be sensitive,” says Dr. Dytoc, “especially when your protective barrier is stripped and your pH is off-balance. That can lead you to be more susceptible to different skin conditions.”

For those experiencing hypersensitivity in that area, Dr. Dytoc recommends gentle cleansing with a pH-balanced cleanser, without the use of abrasive washcloths or loofahs. For added cleanliness, she also suggests a bidet or peri bottle after using the washroom instead of just toilet paper, which can be irritating.

Tip: TENA Sensitive Care® pads support this natural balance, ensuring your skin is comfortable and protected, even when dealing with incontinence or skin irritation.

A woman with long red hair sitting on a bed wearing a bra and underwear looking down at an incontinence pad.

Get regular checkups


With any health concern, the best thing you can do is be proactive. Routine visits to your doctor are the best way to catch any issues before they arise, but if you ever have any concerns, the best thing to do is get checked. “I don’t view any problem as too big or too small,” says Dr. Dytoc. “It may be a small rash or discomfort, but it can still affect you deeply, physically or psychosocially. We’re always happy to help with whatever you’re experiencing.”

Dr. Dytoc also notes the importance of getting regular checkups. Having these appointments help you to be aware of any potential risk factors or signs of more serious conditions such as warts, growths or pigmentations that would require biopsies.


Dryness in the intimate area is a common concern for women, often stemming from shifts in hormones, the natural aging process, allergies, infections, skin conditions or even stress. This lack of moisture can create itchiness, burning or discomfort during intercourse or throughout the day, underscoring the need for gentle care and hydration. “This dryness can be uncomfortable, but there is help,” says Dr. Dytoc, adding that common solutions include topical ointments and general hydration, but the best treatment depends on the patient’s symptoms and conditions.

Tip: TENA Sensitive Care® pads are made with SkinComfort Formula™ which is proven to prevent irritation and offers frictionless triple protection from leaks and odour.

A side shot of a woman sitting on a bed in bra and underwear leaning back on her arm.

Wear breathable fabrics

When it comes to underwear, breathability is key. By allowing air to circulate freely, fabrics like cotton help to minimize moisture buildup, reducing the likelihood of irritation and discomfort. Avoid nylon or any other man-made materials. Dr. Dytoc also emphasizes the importance of wearing dry clothing that isn’t too tight, and—for those who don’t deal with incontinence—suggests sleeping without underwear for ultimate breathability.

Tip: TENA Sensitive Care® pads feature breathable and frictionless materials, along with DuoLock core technology and cushiony foam side barriers to combat moisture and irritation.