Sanitary Towel Allergy – Causes, Prevention Tips and Treatments

sanitary towel chafing

Sanitary towels, also known as sanitary pads or menstrual pads, are essential feminine hygiene products used by women during their menstrual cycle. While these products are designed to provide comfort and protection, some women may experience allergic reactions to certain components found in sanitary towels.

Sanitation towel allergy causes contact dermatitis in people with sensitive skin who are allergic to some materials in the pad.

In this article, we will explore the causes, treatments, and prevention tips for sanitary towel allergies, helping women make informed decisions about their feminine hygiene needs.

What are the Causes of Sanitary Towel Allergy?

Contact dermatitis is one of the common causes of sanitary towel allergy. This is common in people with sensitive skin. If you use sanitary towels, here are some common causes of allergy and irritation that you might be experiencing:

a) Fragrances and Dyes

Many sanitary towels contain fragrances and dyes to mask odors and enhance the product’s appearance. However, these additives can cause allergic reactions in some individuals. 

Fragrances, in particular, are known to be common irritants and can lead to itching, redness, and discomfort.

b) Synthetic Materials

Sanitary towels are often made from a combination of synthetic materials, such as rayon, polypropylene, and superabsorbent polymers. While these materials offer superior absorbency, they can also trigger allergic reactions in sensitive individuals.

The chemicals and additives used in the production of these materials may cause skin irritation and allergic responses.

c) Adhesive and Glue

The adhesive used to secure the sanitary pad to underwear can also be a potential allergen. Some women may develop allergies to the adhesive or glue present in the pad, leading to skin irritation and discomfort in the genital area.

Treatments for Sanitary Towel Allergy

  • Discontinue Use: If you suspect that you have developed an allergic reaction to a specific sanitary towel, the first step is to discontinue its use. Switch to an alternative brand or type of sanitary pad to see if the symptoms resolve.
  • Topical Creams and Ointments: To alleviate itching and reduce inflammation, over-the-counter hydrocortisone creams or ointments can be applied to the affected area. These products contain anti-inflammatory properties that can provide temporary relief.
  • Consult a Healthcare Professional: If the allergic reaction persists or worsens, it is advisable to seek medical advice. A healthcare professional can evaluate the severity of the allergy and prescribe appropriate treatments, such as antihistamines or corticosteroids, to alleviate the symptoms.

Prevention Tips for Sanitary Towel Allergy

1. Read the Label

Before purchasing sanitary towels, carefully read the labels to identify any potential allergens. Look for products that are fragrance-free, dye-free, and made from hypoallergenic materials.

Natural and organic options may also be suitable for those with sensitive skin.

2. Choose Alternative Products:

Consider alternative menstrual hygiene products, such as organic cotton pads, reusable cloth pads, or menstrual cups. These options are free from synthetic materials, fragrances, and dyes, reducing the risk of allergic reactions.

3. Test New Products

When trying a new brand or type of sanitary towel, conduct a patch test before using it during your menstrual cycle.

Apply a small portion of the product to your inner forearm or another non-sensitive area of your skin. If there is no allergic reaction within 24 hours, it is generally safe to use the product.


Are there any specific ingredients to avoid in sanitary towels if I have sensitive skin?

Yes, if you have sensitive skin, it is advisable to avoid sanitary towels that contain fragrances, dyes, and synthetic materials like rayon or superabsorbent polymers. Opt for fragrance-free, dye-free, and hypoallergenic options instead.

Are there any natural remedies to alleviate sanitary towel allergies?

While natural remedies may provide temporary relief, it is essential to consult a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment. However, applying a cold compress or using soothing natural ingredients like aloe vera gel or chamomile tea bags may help reduce inflammation and soothe irritated skin.

How do you stop sanitary towels from itching?

Keep the affected area dry and clean. You can also apply a soothing cream or an over-the-counter ointment to stop pads from itching. 


Sanitary towel allergies can be an uncomfortable and distressing experience for women. By understanding the causes, implementing preventive measures, and seeking appropriate treatments, women can manage and alleviate the symptoms associated with sanitary towel allergies.

It is crucial to read product labels, choose hypoallergenic options, and consult healthcare professionals if the symptoms persist or worsen.

Ultimately, the goal is to ensure women’s comfort and well-being during their menstrual cycle by selecting products that suit their individual needs and preferences.

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