“Swamp step,” “sweaty vagina,” “groin sweat” — whatever you call it, there are ways to keep it in check.
Real talk: On a soupy summer day, your armpits aren’t the only part of your body that can bring up a sweat. Yes, sometimes it can get very swampy in the south.
Whether it’s caused by sweltering heat or a skin issue (more on that later), an overly sweaty crotch can be uncomfortable (and downright embarrassing).
Here we spoke to Jessica Labadie, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon and a laser fellow at SkinCare Physicians in Massachusetts, to get to the bottom of groin sweat (including why it happens and how to keep dry underneath).
Do vaginas sweat?
nope! The vagina is an internal organ that doesn’t have sweat glands, so technically you can’t have a sweaty vagina. What some people refer to as vaginal sweat is actually sweat from the external genital area, including the vulva and groin.
First, what causes crotch sweat?
“Excessive sweating that’s only concentrated in the groin is a type of focal hyperhidrosis and can be due to a number of different conditions or causes,” says Dr. Labadie.
Here are some of the most common causes of chronic foot sweats:
“Higher temperatures cause people to sweat more,” says Dr. Labadie.
“Vigorous exercise causes a person’s body temperature to rise, thereby producing sweat,” says Dr. Labadie.
“Emotional stimuli can lead to increased sweat production,” says Dr. Labadie, and that includes groin sweat.
“Friction in the groin area can lead to more sweating,” says Dr. Labadie. Sources of friction are often:
- Excessive pubic hair
- Tight underwear or clothing
- Excessive skin and fat
- Feminine hygiene products or materials that do not breathe
5. Certain skin conditions
Dermatological problems can also cause groin sweat. Here are the most common conditions that Dr. Labadie can generate sweat in your private parts:
- intertrigoor inflammation caused by skin-to-skin friction, typically occurring in warm, moist areas of the body such as the groin
- reverse psoriasis, a type of psoriasis that occurs in regions where your skin rubs against itself
- ringworm of the leg(also known as jock itch), a fungal infection that causes a red, itchy rash on warm, moist areas of the body
- erythrasma, a localized bacterial skin infection that usually occurs in skin folds, including the groin
- Acanthosis nigricans, a skin condition that produces thick, dark patches, generally in skin folds and folds, such as B. Groin
- Seborrheic dermatitis, a chronic form of eczema that causes scaly patches and red skin
If you notice a rash, itching, or pain accompanying your groin sweat, see a dermatologist right away, as it may be a sign of a more serious health issue, says Dr. Labadie.
6 tips against step sweat
Regardless of the cause of your sweaty groin, the following strategies can help reduce sweat below the belt.
1. Try a topical antiperspirant
Just as you apply an antiperspirant to prevent sweating, you can do the same for your crotch area.
“In general, it’s okay to use a topical antiperspirant on the groin area,” as long as you avoid direct application to the genitals, says Dr. Labadie. “However, remember that this area of the body is more sensitive than other areas and can therefore be more prone to irritation.”
dr Labadie recommends using an unscented, mild antiperspirant like Almay Sensitive Skin Anti-Perspirant & Deodorant ($20.94 for a 6-pack, Amazon.com) or Vanicream Anti-Perspirant Deodorant ($9.99, Amazon.com). Both are very gentle and designed for sensitive skin, she says.
2. Apply an anti-fungal powder
A dusting of antifungal powder can help prevent profuse sweating in your pants.
Here’s why: Sometimes an overproduction of yeast contributes to the sweaty groin problem, says Dr. Labadie. “By choosing an antifungal powder, you can help both problems at the same time: get rid of the dampness and address the overproduction of yeast in the area,” she explains.
Her favorite antifungal powders are Zeasorb Prevention Treatment Powder ($7.03, Walmart.com) and Zeasorb AF Jock Itch Powder ($10.20, Walmart.com).
3. Choose breathable underwear
To stay dry, your nether regions need some air down there. And the best way to keep them well ventilated is by wearing breathable underwear.
Cotton fabrics are fantastic for staying dry and airy, as are loose-fitting underwear (read: boxers tend to be better than briefs for breathability), says Dr. Labadie.
“However, if tighter clothing is required for a specific event — such as tightly padded shorts for cycling — I would recommend showering right after your workout,” says Dr. Labadie. “Clean and dry the area thoroughly and change into looser, cotton-based clothing once the workout is over.”
4. Avoid panty liners and pads
Certain women’s products – like panty liners and pads – can create sweat in your panties.
That’s because “panty liners and pads contain materials that can cause increased occlusion, moisture, and irritation in an already sensitive area,” says Dr. Labadie.
So if you can, try to limit your use of these sweat-inducing products — especially during a workout — or switch them up often, she says. You can opt for tampons or a menstrual disc or cup.
Whether or not you groom your pubic hair is entirely your prerogative. But if you’re trying to get rid of groin sweat, it might be best to keep your short and curly, well, on the shorter side.
Here’s why: “Excessive pubic hair can lead to occlusion and moisture retention,” says Dr. Labadie.
In other words, trimming your pubic hair can help minimize moisture and reduce sweating.
6. Consult your dermatologist
If the above home remedies do not provide relief, then consult your dermatologist who can properly assess and diagnose you.
Depending on the underlying problem, “there are a few prescription interventions that can be helpful,” says Dr. Labadie.
For example, your doctor may prescribe a stronger aluminum chloride-based antiperspirant or an oral medication to reduce sweating, she says.
“In severe cases, dermatologists may try intradermal Botox injections to temporarily inhibit sweat gland secretion,” adds Dr. Labadie added.