Lessons in Bath Beads And Bikini Burns

Some body wash labels should read “Keep out of vagina.”
Publish date:
November 27, 2013
bath products, bikini line

I love exfoliating body wash and sugar scrubs, but they should come with some sort of user discretion is advised printed across the front of the bottle like the products that warn you to “Keep out of eyes.” Only the body wash labels should read “Keep out of vagina.”

That was my two cents to a relative who said she uses the tiny beads all over, including her “purse” area.

If I'm not mistaken, those little green, blue, brown or invisible beads remove dead or dry skin. And I'm pretty sure they weren't intended for the vagina because, well, under what conditions would you need to scrub it? It's delicate flesh, not rough knees or elbows. Clearly she missed those old “Hail to the V” commercials. Either she had a raw purse or a rugged one but I told her don't say anything when it started baking bread. Or making cottage cheese.

But that's just me. It's very possible I'm still paranoid from the shaving mishap I experienced years ago.

I bought some hair removal gel cream because razors always left flaming red bikini burns that seemed to last two weeks if I didn't constantly treat my skin with after shave gel. I ain't got time for all that. But I learned the hard way during my first trip to Los Angeles -- where daily beach hopping between LA and San Diego was on the itinerary mind you -- that I needed some sort of followup routine. I was horrified to see a splotchy mess that only itched when I was surrounded by people. I had to put a little shift in my hips when I walked to refrain from scratching. Not cute.

I used anything in my luggage that had any semblance of antiseptic properties, including the old-fashioned brown Listerine. That didn't work, by the way. Nothing did after my skin flared up. So no one saw my cute swimsuits the entire vacation because I was confined to a sarong. And varied cross-legged positions. I would've felt more comfortable sporting an untrimmed bush.

Next? Gel cream.

I was clean-shaven within minutes that first time so I simply thought “Oh!,” rinsed and proceeded to take my shower. That's when things went downhill. (Sorta pun intended)

I'm a creamy body wash chick when I'm not exfoliating. Apparently the generously creamy lather from the wash combined with some remnants of the shave gel because when I looked down, my purse was blowing freakin' bubbles. Suds were everywhere.

And they just kept forming.

I frantically re-rinsed but clearly I didn't “clench” because within days I was pleading for a doctor's appointment for “right now and not next week.” It was a very un-sexy experience and that call was rather awkward.

“What's the nature of your visit?” asked the friendly receptionist.

“Um... a severe reaction to a body wash and shaving cream mix?” I'm still not sure why I framed my response in the form of a question other than I wasn't quite sure what else to say without being explicit. I mean I guess “Ma'am, my vagina just swallowed some Dove and Veet and now she's spitting it out” could've worked, too, but that would've said I had some serious vag issues going on and surely made for office gossip. And I had to show my face if I wanted treatment. Keeping it vague was the way to go.

Yet I still wondered what she told the other front-desk receptionists after we hung up. It wasn't something you could keep to yourself.

But I'm sure they did more laughing at me than talking about me. When I arrived, I had to explain to the nurse and then the doctor why I was there between annual pap smears. They were at a loss for words but full of chuckles. At least they chuckled in my face, right? I guess that type of comfort level is one of the pluses of having a long-term relationship with primary care physicians and gynecologists.

And that may have been the only reason why I wasn't too embarrassed to return to that practice for subsequent appointments. I just knew how to not go back for the same shit.

Of course my cousin would say I just have a temperamental vagina and I'm projecting my purse problems on hers. Okay, so maybe my purse is moody and picky about what goes in and around it. But at least I can say mine is clipper clean and exfoliant- and Fleischmann's-free.

Have you had similar issues that you're not too embarrassed to share?

Follow Teronda's sometimes vodka-fueled opinions, reflections and observations at @skinnydcwriter.