Why Do Sanitary Towels Cause Rashes and Spots

sanitary towel causing spots

Sanitary towels are a commonly used menstrual product that provides comfort and protection during periods. However, some women may experience rashes and spots on their skin due to the use of sanitary pads.

These skin irritations can be uncomfortable and may lead to further complications if not addressed. Therefore, Understanding the causes can help women manage and prevent skin irritations associated with sanitary pad use.

In this article, we will explore the causes behind rashes and spots caused by sanitary pads, discuss their appearance, provide tips for preventing future rashes, and offer treatment options.

Why Do Sanitary Towel Cause Spots and Rashes?

Sanitary towels are used by women for collecting menstrual blood. However, it may be causing spots and rashes on your skin. Here are some common causes behind it:

  • Friction and Irritation: The constant friction and rubbing of sanitary pads against the skin can cause irritation, especially in sensitive areas. The rough texture of some pads, along with the movement during daily activities, can lead to redness, itching, and rashes.
  • Allergic Reactions: Some women may develop an allergic reaction to certain materials or chemicals present in sanitary pads. Ingredients like fragrances, dyes, adhesives, or synthetic fibers can trigger skin sensitivity and result in rashes or spots.
  • Moisture and Bacterial Growth: Sanitary pads can trap moisture against the skin, especially when worn for extended periods. This moisture, combined with heat, provides an ideal environment for bacterial growth, leading to skin irritation, rashes, and even infections.

The Appearance of Rashes and Spots Caused by Sanitary Towels

Rashes and spots caused by sanitary pads can vary in appearance depending on the severity and individual reactions. Some common characteristics include:

  • Redness and Inflammation: The affected area may appear red, swollen, and inflamed, indicating irritation and skin sensitivity.
  • Itching and Discomfort: Rashes caused by sanitary pads often result in itching or a tingling sensation. Persistent scratching can further worsen the condition.
  • Raised Bumps or Spots: In more severe cases, small raised bumps or spots may appear on the skin, indicating an allergic reaction or contact dermatitis.

Prevention of Rashes and Spots from Sanitary Pads

Sanitary towels have a lot of benefits for women. However, if you are facing spots and rashes on your skin from sanitary pads, here are a few things you can try to prevent it.

  • Choose the Right Type of Sanitary Pads: Opt for sanitary pads that are made of hypoallergenic materials, and free from fragrances, dyes, and harsh chemicals. Look for pads specifically designed for sensitive skin or labeled as dermatologist-tested.
  • Change Regularly: It is essential to change sanitary pads frequently, ideally every 4-6 hours or as needed, to minimize prolonged exposure to moisture and bacteria.
  • Practice Good Hygiene: Maintain proper hygiene by washing the genital area with mild soap and water during each pad change. Ensure thorough drying before putting on a new pad.
  • Wash pads regularly: Make sure to clean and disinfect pads before using them again. Consider air drying in the sun to kill bacteria.
  • Avoid Synthetic Fabrics: Consider using pads made of natural and breathable materials like cotton, as they allow for better airflow and reduce the risk of moisture buildup and skin irritation.
  • Size and Fit: Use sanitary pads that are appropriate for your flow and ensure a proper fit. Pads that are too tight or too loose can cause friction and discomfort. You can also try using a sanitary towel belt.
  • Consider Alternative Menstrual Products: If recurrent rashes persist despite taking preventive measures, you may want to explore alternative menstrual products such as menstrual cups or reusable cloth pads.

Treatment for Rashes and Spots Caused by Sanitary Pads

  • Clean and Dry: Clean the affected area gently with mild soap and water, then pat it dry with a soft towel. Avoid harsh rubbing, as it can further irritate the skin.
  • Moisturize: Apply a soothing and hypoallergenic moisturizer or aloe vera gel to calm the skin and reduce inflammation.
  • Over-the-counter Creams: Over-the-counter hydrocortisone creams or antifungal creams can be used if the rash is persistent or shows signs of infection. However, consult a healthcare professional before using any medication.
  • Avoid Irritants: During the healing process, avoid using scented products, harsh soaps, or other potential irritants in the affected area.

Sanitary Towel Causing Spots FAQs

Why do sanitary pads give me a rash?

Pad rash is caused by excessive friction or sweat while wearing a pad. Most pad materials are not breathable and contain chemicals which results in a rash. 

Can wearing sanitary pads for long periods cause more severe rashes or infections?

Prolonged use of sanitary pads, especially without regular changing, can lead to increased moisture and bacterial growth, potentially worsening rashes and increasing the risk of infections. It is important to change pads regularly and practice good hygiene.

Are there any natural remedies for treating rashes caused by sanitary pads?

Natural remedies such as applying cold compresses, using chamomile tea bags, or soaking in an oatmeal bath can provide relief from itching and inflammation. However, if symptoms persist or worsen, it is advisable to seek medical advice.


Rashes and spots caused by sanitary pads can be uncomfortable and bothersome for women during their menstrual cycle. Understanding the causes, practicing prevention techniques, and using appropriate treatment methods can help manage and alleviate these skin irritations.

By choosing the right type of pads, practicing good hygiene, and considering alternative menstrual products, women can minimize the risk of sanitary towel causing spots and enjoy a more comfortable and irritation-free menstrual experience.

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