3:31 pm - 06/30/2010

Cracked and bleeding labia, pad rash- How to make it go away?

I think I'm looking for some sudden miracle cure again, sorry. But it doesn't hurt to ask. (LJ-seek is yet again not working for me.)

Long story short: have a Mirena, have the insanely long bleed periods that come with it. Yay. After about 5-7 days with any pad (unbleached cotton, cloth, etc) my labia revolt and I break out in a rash, labia starts to crack and bleed, all that fun stuff. Won't use a cup with the IUD and tampons don't work for me (bleed right down the side of them). Great fun when my periods last upwards of 16 days now.

This time seems worse than normal and nothing I do seems to make it better. In case it was a YI I've been using apple cider vinegar washes and now I'm pretty darn sure I have no YI since all I smell like is vinegar. The cold water was the only soothing part of it.

I've tried diaper rash creams: oh holy hell do they burn. And they keep burning. I've tried kinds with benzocaine in them: they burn like hell until the benzocaine kicks in, then if anything touches my labia, back to the burning pain.

Pantslessness when I'm not at work, cold wash cloths- I've tried everything I can think of and it's been a week and it's not getting any better. They're still cracked and bleeding (and I've been off my period for the week, so what caused the irritation is gone).

Is there anything I can do to make it go away? It hurts to walk and combined with my mood swings has me in tears. I don't want to go to my doctor because I know he won't help me. Is there something I'm overlooking?

Thanks! (Dear god, I can never make these questions short can I?)

EDIT 7/1/10:

I figured I might as well update this in case it's helpful to someone. I used the baking soda cold compress detailed in this link that was sent to me (mostly since it was one treatment I had on hand that I haven't tried). I applied it before bed, and it stung for a while, but when I woke up the morning my skin was the happiest it's been in a while. If nothing else it did soothe it.

jarien 30th-Jun-2010 09:56 pm (UTC)
I wish I had something to offer as a solution! I think I'm having the same issue, irritation from even the non-bleached pads is making my periods hellish (can't use tampons for the same reason you can't). It's not YI for me either, I've treated those successfully in the past, and use boric acid preventatively. Those OTC creams are painful, and don't help.

It feels like an allergic reaction, but I can't figure out to what. I swapped to the non-chlorine pads and change them often -- doesn't seem to help. I changed toilet paper brands to something as hypoallergenic as I could find -- didn't help. I use a rinse bottle and pat dry instead of wiping, that does help a bit (just the friction from toilet paper can be awful). I don't use any kind of soap or chemicals in my vaginal area at all, and I rinse very thoroughly in the shower to make sure the things I used elsewhere aren't accidentally washing over my genitals and clinging there to cause irritation. I already dose up on Claritin and Benadryl for my seasonal allergies, I can't really think what else to do.

I soothe the lady parts with greek yogurt, since it's part of my regular yeast prevention routine anyway. The cold feels nice, but it's not exactly a solution to the burning that's driving me insane.

I have an appointment with my naturopath in a few weeks, I'll ask her opinion. I'm not prepared to live life thinking I've got a cheese grater down my pants whenever I'm having my period.
airenwoodmoon 30th-Jun-2010 10:19 pm (UTC)
Aw, I wish I could help you too! You've gone further than I have- I didn't think of using antihistamines.

I've idly wondered if I'm allergic to my own menstrual blood, but I doubt that's my case.

Good luck! I hope she has answers for you.
svexsal 30th-Jun-2010 10:03 pm (UTC)
I would post this over to iud_divas to see if they have insight on this. Something about a 16 day period and trouble walking with a MIRENA doesn't sound right as they're noted to shorten periods. I would definitely see a doctor, possibly a different one if you don't have confidence in your current one to be helpful.
airenwoodmoon 30th-Jun-2010 10:30 pm (UTC)
I haven't worried too much about the 16 day period thing because I'm on the 7th month of my IUD, it's a heck of a lot better than the 25+ days it was doing a few months ago, and it kind of feels like my body's still bleeding the same amount it always has been, just slower. So instead of 8 days of heavy bleeding I now get 16 of medium to light bleeding. Annoying, and I hope it gets better.

Thanks though! I might try them too.
airenwoodmoon 30th-Jun-2010 10:42 pm (UTC)
You have a good memory. I did post about this before and got all the diaper cream and cold compress remedies. I was just hoping against hope that there was something missed. :)

I can see another doctor, but if I need another laparoscopy I want my current one to do it, if that makes any sense. I trust him with my endometriosis treatments and I don't want to lose that by changing doctors. (I also have no knowledge of how etiquette in these situations work, obviously.) But at the same time he's utterly useless with anything else, and I don't feel like listening to another 30 minute lecture about how I need to have a baby now.

Wow I went off on a tangent, sorry. Thanks so much for the links! I'll check them out. And I'll stop with the creams. Thanks so much again!
frolicnaked 30th-Jun-2010 10:50 pm (UTC)
Since it's a potential skin issue (i.e., your symptoms are external), would it be possible to see a dermatologist? A fair number of them treat genital skin issues (and you can always ask the receptionist when you're making an appointment). If you could do that, you'd be going to a different kind of specialist, which may resolve and "etiquette" issues, is my thought.
airenwoodmoon 30th-Jun-2010 11:44 pm (UTC)
I never thought of a dermatologist. I'll look into it, thanks!
jarien 1st-Jul-2010 12:42 am (UTC)
I've been considering taking it back to my GP as a potential allergy issue, a dermatologist makes sense and is a new avenue to try (since the GP and GYN haven't been much help).
jarien 1st-Jul-2010 12:41 am (UTC)
Thanks for the links as well. I'm already doing a lot of the things, but being able to say I'm doing them all is a start.
ashley_robin 30th-Jun-2010 11:31 pm (UTC)
Cortisone cream will help with the cracks, itchy-ness. And as a side note, I use a Diva cup with my IUD with no problems. I highly recommend it.
airenwoodmoon 30th-Jun-2010 11:47 pm (UTC)
I had a lot of problems breaking the suction on my Diva before I got the Mirena put in and I'm just not comfortable with taking the chance. Thanks though! Prescription cortisone cream? Or is there an OTC kind?
ashley_robin 1st-Jul-2010 03:39 am (UTC)
Gotcha! OTC is fine. Good luck!
airenwoodmoon 1st-Jul-2010 03:48 am (UTC)
Cool, thanks!
fireaphid 1st-Jul-2010 07:49 am (UTC)
Actually, hydrocortisone is not intended for use on open wounds, and it can thin the skin, which would probably make it more prone to cracking. If itching is the main problem, an antihistamine would probably be safer to use until you can see a doctor.
airenwoodmoon 1st-Jul-2010 03:06 pm (UTC)
Ah, I want to stay away from thinning the skin down there anymore. Thanks for the warning!
mydocuments 30th-Jun-2010 11:35 pm (UTC)
If you're worried about using a Diva cup with your IUD due to potential suction effects, may I suggest the Instead cup? The way they're made, they don't form a seal that you'd have to break to remove the cup and empty it. They stay up by size alone.
airenwoodmoon 30th-Jun-2010 11:49 pm (UTC)
I've thought about Insteads, but I was too nervous to take a chance. They're really leaky on me too, and I'll likely have to wear a pad anyway. But since my uterus seems to have sucked up my strings anyway I guess it's worth a shot. Thanks!
tornattheelbo 1st-Jul-2010 03:01 am (UTC)
i'd suggest natural sea sponges insetad, i find tampons too drying and having the mirena gives me very little flow, so when i do bleed i find that a small damp sponge is perfect to keep me tidy.
airenwoodmoon 1st-Jul-2010 03:36 am (UTC)
I've been interested in those but weren't sure if they'd work or not. And recommendations on where to find them?
paraxeni 1st-Jul-2010 04:42 pm (UTC)
I get mine on ebay. Sea Pearls or something like that. They're ideal for Mirena flow.
airenwoodmoon 1st-Jul-2010 05:42 pm (UTC)
Woo! Thanks! I'll look them up. (My previous forays into looking for them yielded results telling me about loofahs.)
atalanta0jess 1st-Jul-2010 02:04 am (UTC)
The makers of instead cups actually recommend that IUD users not use instead soft cups.
fireaphid 1st-Jul-2010 07:51 am (UTC)
This! That's the only cup you should really be nervous about using with an IUD, in my opinion, because the rim has to be dragged over the cervix to be removed, and it's got an interface between two materials (the ring and the bag) that can catch on the strings. On the other hand, some reusable cup brands are recommended for use with an IUD and should be quite safe unless you actively pull on your strings.
sparkle_lite 1st-Jul-2010 01:09 am (UTC)
Over the counter hydrocortisone cream will help with itching, sweeping, and inflammation. When you say you tried diaper rash creams, did you try any without numbing agents? Just regular old desitin, or any of the thick white kind with a high percentage of zinc. Zinc aids in cell repair. Things like A & D ointment are good to protect a rash from happening, but Desitin will actually heal it faster.
airenwoodmoon 1st-Jul-2010 03:43 am (UTC)
Yeah, I have Burt's Bees diaper cream; thick white with zinc and vitamin E. Unfortunately it doesn't tell me the percentage of zinc.
atalanta0jess 1st-Jul-2010 02:05 am (UTC)
Have you been swabbed for yeast? Even though it lived through the acv rinses, it could still be a yeast issue. Might be worth looking into at least. I know that there are some at home remedies that quite frankly do shit all for my YIs.
airenwoodmoon 1st-Jul-2010 03:45 am (UTC)
No I haven't been swabbed. Sometimes I wonder if I have a constant YI that nothing works on, or if I'm just cursed to have a lot of them. :D Thanks!
atalanta0jess 1st-Jul-2010 01:16 pm (UTC)
Its definitely possible! I had a low lying yeastie for like 8 months...boric acid cured it for good. But I would definitely get swabbed before proceeding with any yeast treatment, since the last thing you want, obviously, is any further irritation.

Best of luck.
airenwoodmoon 1st-Jul-2010 03:07 pm (UTC)
tornattheelbo 1st-Jul-2010 02:59 am (UTC)
other people find it to be too intense but i started getting a yeast infection the other day and i cooled my bits with some tea tree on damp paper towel and REALLY slept like that with my legs spread, and was feeling much better by the next day.

only problem is, your cunt smells like tea tree for a day.
airenwoodmoon 1st-Jul-2010 03:46 am (UTC)
Did you dilute it at all? I haven't worked with it much so I'm not sure at what concentrations would work best. Thanks!
fireaphid 1st-Jul-2010 07:54 am (UTC)
Tea tree oil is not safe for use on broken skin! It's a great antiseptic because it lyses (breaks open) cells, but it does so indiscriminately, killing bacteria, fungi, and your own cells. If you choose to use it, definitely dilute it!
airenwoodmoon 1st-Jul-2010 03:08 pm (UTC)
Good point. I've only ever used it for acne and that's with a store bought solution that I don't know the concentration of.
lolabobs 1st-Jul-2010 07:45 am (UTC)
I've used salt water baths to soothe the pain of allergies, and use vaseline whenever I have splits as it forms a barrier and seems to help me heal a lot quicker.
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