Top Tips for Going Bare Down There

By Dr. Jennifer Hanes

As swimsuit season returns, it’s time to revisit your intimate grooming routine.  Personal hygiene is about caring for and respecting our bodies. However, many women encounter rashes, bumps and razor burn in the bikini area and thus hate shaving.  I have helped lots of women with this sensitive dilemma, and the solution is pretty simple.

For two-three days before your next shave. . .

1) Once you are in the shower, apply an anti-acne soap to your groin area.
It is important the soap contain Salicylic acid.  Lather liberally with this soap and allow it to remain on your private area for at least two minutes.  (With all products listed, this is meant for your skin not the mucous membrane area.  In case that is confusing, put the soap only on the outside part that looks like the skin on your legs.)  The salicylic acid helps dissolve the acid mantle and gently break down the plugs in your pores.  After the soap has been on your skin for at least two minutes, rub with a loofah.  The coarseness of the loofah will help to shed some of the dead skin cells and make it less likely nearby pores become inflamed.

2) When you finish your shower, pat the area dry.
NO rubbing.  But do make sure you are completely dry.

3) Consider using an astringent.
If the area is currently inflamed or has a lot of bumps, use a salicylic acid containing astringent for sensitive skin.  Apply lightly to the area with a cotton balls using downward strokes.

4) After the skin has dried apply an oil-free facial moisturizer. 
Again, make sure it stays external.  The longer you can wait to put on panties the better.  If you bathe at night try sleeping without underwear, or wear soft yoga pants.

After following this regimen for two or three days you are ready to shave.  (If you are changing your grooming habits and this is the first time you have shaved some parts, it may be easier if you first use some small grooming scissors to cut the hair first.)  Less hair, down there, is definitely more fashionable these days, but the choice is yours.

1) Begin your shower as above with the acne soap and loofah.

2) When you are thoroughly rinsed, apply a large amount of shaving gel to the area.
And reapply as necessary.

3) Make sure your razor is sharp and take your time.
Note to all women in a hurry – you are not grating parmesan cheese here, please slow down and pay attention.  It is often helpful to pull the skin so it is tight with you other hand to achieve a closer shave.  As you finish shaving, make sure to feel the entire area with your hand to check for any spots you may have missed.  I realize you may be shy about doing this, but it is your body.  It is your only body and there is no shame or guilt in feeling your own body or grooming yourself in a way you like.

4) Rinse thoroughly and gently pat dry.

5) When you are dry, apply Hydrocortisone 1% cream to the area. 
Make sure you rub in a downward motion.  Allow the cream to thoroughly dry before you get dressed.  Only use this cream on the days you shave, no more than three times a week.

You did it! You should notice a dramatic improvement after the first shave.  However, it may take two weeks for all of the scarring to improve, but it definitely will.  Notice how soft your skin feels and how great it is to feel you bare flesh against your lingerie.  This feeling of intimate beauty will give you a confidence boost all throughout your day.

Now, off to the shower. . .

A board certified emergency physician, Jennifer Hanes, D.O., discovered that patients have greater success when they understand their bodies.  With that unique philosophy, she founded Empowered Medicine, PLLC, where knowledge is powerful medicine.  She empowers patients with her articles, motivational speeches and private consultations.  You can learn more at

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