Healing vaginal fissures
This is treated as you would, say, a sore in your mouth. It is in raw mucous membrane and needs to be treated accordingly, so no harsh anything. If you have compromised wound-healing abilities (diabetes, low nutrient status) or immunity (HIV, chronic illness), it may take a bit longer for your cuts and tears to heal.
1. Don’t douche with anything, as you will upset the natural balance of bacteria that actually protect your vaginal mucous membranes and keep your vagina healthy. You have bacteria that have a symbiotic relationship with your mucous membranes, and they do us favours and we do them favours. We actually wouldn’t survive for long without our army of bacteria.
You may have an infection of some kind anyway, but that needs to be dealt with in other ways: douching will never get rid of an infection of any kind.
2. If sex is the cause, you will need to adjust your practices: don’t go too hard or engage in any sexual activities without a good-quality lube. Don’t have sex until your scrapes are fully, and properly, healed, because otherwise you may just re-open the newly-closed flesh, sustaining the wound. (How to choose the best lubricant) Be gentle – our vaginas are awesome, but they are not magic.
3. Don’t irritate your vulva or vagina by using tampons, diaphragms, Nuva rings, condoms or other vaginal devices, creams, lotions or potions until you are fully healed. No scratching, masturbating or tight underwear.
4. Make sure you wash your vaginal area daily, but don’t use harsh, drying soaps that can strip the delicate skin of its moisture and don’t be rough – the skin stitches its proteins together when it heals, and if you are rough, it can pull them apart. There is a good argument that the vulva doesn’t need to be washed with soap at all, but in fact just with warm water, especially when it’s healing. Once a day is enough.
You want to keep the fatty layer on your vulva, because without it, you are wide open for irritation. It works just the same as, say, nappy/diaper rash – continually stripping the skin of its natural protective layer means it has no protective layer.
This is a personal preference, and if you do use soap, don’t use the Disney version: make it hypo-allergenic, free from known irritants and do not use soap in the vaginal opening, ever. Stick to the outer labia folds. Your vaginal mucous membranes (like your nose and lungs) do not need washing.
5. Soothe vulvar fissures (outside labial skin only) with a small amount of healing aloe vera gel, paw paw ointment, vitamin E oil or other non-antibacterial soothing cream (you want to preserve your good bacteria). Do not insert any creams or gels into the vagina unless prescribed by your physician, particularly antibacterial creams. Your mucous membranes will not be happy.
If your labia are itchy, dry or tender, try a warm oatmeal bath – oats are very soothing to the skin, reduce itching and inflammation, and generally make you feel nice.
6. Eat well. Chow down enough good wholesome food packed with vitamins, minerals and protein so that your skin has everything it needs to heal quickly. Skin repair needs plenty of protein, vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids, as you are literally growing new skin and patching up wounds, so having a healthy and well-balanced diet will help your skin heal quickly. This probably isn’t what you want to hear, but you are what you eat, actually. If you build your temple out of soda and takeaways, don’t expect healthy, strong skin. It matters.
In particular protein (makes your ‘meat’), zinc and vitamin C (for collagen) are required for wounds. If you subsist on junk food, booze and drugs, or conversely don’t eat much at all, don’t expect miracles from your skin. Slow wound healing is indicative of several health conditions, so make sure you know why you are healing slowly if this is the case. (Low oestrogen can cause slow wound healing too, or you could have an underlying disease developing including blood supply problems.)