How Sanitary Pads Can Cause Skin Rashes

Friction from movement when using a sanitary pads is a common cause of rashes. When engaging in physical activities such as walking or jogging, the pad may shift back and forth, causing friction that can lead to a rash on the vulva. An irritant in the pad’s structure could be to blame for the rash. Sometimes, when heat and moisture are present together, germs can flourish.

What is pad rash?

While husk, straw, or ash is still used as a menstruation care alternative in some parts of the world, sanitary pads can lead to swelling, rashes, and intense itching in some women. The majority of Asian women use traditional sanitary pads, despite the fact that they frequently produce a rash that might later develop and even cause bleeding. While the cause of rashes can vary from person to person, the most prevalent culprit among pad users is the pad’s material.

Pads can create rashes because of the friction caused by rubbing on the skin for five to seven days. Wearing a pad continuously for 5-7 days can trap heat and moisture near the vaginal area, which can lead to rashes and, in some cases, a bacterial infection.


Pad-related rashes can be caused by a number of different factors. Problems might arise from things like friction, allergies to the pad’s materials, and discomfort caused by heat and wetness.

1. Friction

If you wear a sanitary pad and walk around a lot, you can end up with a rash because of the friction. According to the Center for Young Women’s Health, walking, running, and other forms of physical activity can cause the pad to move back and forth and contribute to a vulva friction rash.

To lessen the pad’s mobility, one option is to use a smaller pad.

2. Contact dermatitis

Medical practitioners refer to an allergic skin reaction as contact dermatitis. Pad rash can be caused by the introduction of foreign substances to the vulva, such as chemicals or materials. Some of the components of a sanitary pad, such as adhesives and even perfumes, can be irritating.

Materials used to make sanitary pads can sometimes cause reactions in people with hypersensitive skin. Changing brands may help avoid further skin irritation in certain situations.

3. Conditions of high temperature and dampness

Sanitary pads are designed to catch and contain menstrual blood and other fluids as they flow out of the vaginal opening. The vulva can get a rash from the stored moisture and heat.

A rash on the vulva may be brought on by a number of irritants found in pads and underwear. Among these are:

  • sweat
  • urine
  • Hooks and eyes in underwear
  • nylon briefs

4. Chemicals or materials in the pad

Some of the materials and chemicals used to make pads can be irritating to the skin in that area. The top sheet of your pad, which is in constant contact with your skin, may not agree with you.

5. Adhesives in the pad

If you plan on doing a lot of walking around while using a pad, it’s a good idea to get one with adhesives so that it stays put. Adhesives, however, can irritate the skin in general, and especially this delicate area.

The adhesive may create a rash if it comes into contact with skin rather than underpants.

6. The aroma in the pad

To keep everything smelling… fresh, fragrances could be applied to a pad. Unfortunately, they can also irritate delicate skin and, in some circumstances, induce an allergic reaction that might result in a rash.

Remedy for Sanitary Pad Skin Rash

Depending on the root reason, pad rash treatment options may differ. The Center for Young Women’s Health suggests switching to a new brand of tampon if you get contact dermatitis. You might want to look at alternatives like tampons or a menstrual cup. If you suffer from rashes caused by friction, you might find that smaller pads assist.

Studies recommends the following methods for treating contact dermatitis:

  • antihistamines
  • topical steroid creams
  • skin antibiotics 

Pad rashes can be treated topically, but it’s best to check with a female health specialist first because of where they appear.

Applying a cold compress can help reduce inflammation and discomfort. If you keep the area clean, the rash might not develop any worse.

Suggestions for Menstrual Hygiene

  • Don’t risk rashes and infections by not changing your sanitary pads often enough.
  • During your period, it is recommended that you wash your vaginal area with warm water every few hours.
  • Rashes can also be treated with talcum powder or baby powder.
  • Keep your body hydrated by drinking at least eight to ten glasses of water daily.
  • If your skin is sensitive, avoid using scented items in that area.
  • Vaginal hygiene wipes should be used. Clean the windshield in a forward-to-backward motion.
  • Soaps should not be used for cleaning purposes below.
  • For the sake of your vaginal health, * eat lots of fresh fruits and stay away from salty snacks.
  • If your flow is more substantial, use a larger pad.


Without a doubt, periods are difficult and frantic. However, with the correct item, you might have a time that is less stressful and more comfortable. If friction rashes are treated as soon as they are seen, the symptoms may disappear in two to three days. Always contact your dermatologist for skin issues if your symptoms get worse or persist for more than a week as untreated rashes can worsen and take longer to treat.


1. Are pad rashes and diaper rashes comparable?

The most common cause of diaper rash is irritation and inflammation of the skin brought on by contact with urine or feces.

Similarly, to diaper rash, irritation can cause a rash from a sanitary pad. On the other hand, pad rash is not caused primarily by pee and feces.

2. Is it a hormonal problem or anything else that causes period rashes?

The sanitary napkin you use, coupled with other elements including humidity, occlusion, and friction, are frequently to blame for period rashes. If you have sensitive skin and get terrible period rashes, organic cotton sanitary napkins are your best bet.

3. What body parts will get a rash?

An irritating rash caused by a pad will appear wherever it has been worn. If you have it, you might feel it in your vulva, buttocks, or thighs.