Intimacy with eczema
Updated: Mar 21, 2019
Eczema is an allergic condition that may impact intimacy in your life. Intimacy can be a challenge when you feel insecure about your skin, however, steps can be taken to help prevent and soothe eczema. Besides actively reducing your exposure to known triggers, eczema-friendly self-care routines can also help to reduce symptoms.
Be kind to your skin in the shower, and your skin will return the favor. Limit your shower time to 15 minutes, and use warm (not hot) water with mild soaps. Gently pat your skin with a towel to dry off, but leave your skin a bit damp and apply a moisturizer in order to maintain a healthy skin barrier. If you use a prescription topical medication, apply it before you use moisturizer to manage flare-ups and help ease redness, rashes, dryness, and itching. Moisturize at least twice a day using gentle products that work for you.
Dress for the occasion—wear clothes that make you feel confident, but avoid fabrics that irritate your skin. If something that you are wearing feels uncomfortable on your skin, try switching rough or synthetic fabrics (like lace or spandex) for softer natural fabrics (such as silk).
Eczema can be unpredictable, and sometimes flare-ups still occur, even after we practice good skincare and try to prevent symptoms. Confidence is key, and self love is so important. Remind yourself that you are more than your eczema! No matter the state of your skin, you are beautiful, and at the end of the day, your partner is just happy to be there!
Intimacy for people with latex allergies
We had an Instagram post on this, but here is a quick rundown on intimacy for people with latex allergies.
First, let’s start with latex allergies. If you are sexually active and allergic (or sensitive) to latex, you don’t need to choose between intimacy and safety. You can still be intimate without having an allergic reaction or increasing risk of unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
There are four types of non-latex condoms:
1. Polyisoprene condoms
2. Polyurethane condoms
3. Female (internal) condoms
4. Lambskin condoms
Polyisoprene condoms are a very popular choice for people with latex allergies. Polyisoprene condoms are the closest match to the standard latex condom, as they are made from synthetic rubber (which acts like latex but lacks the proteins that cause allergic reactions to latex) and offer both STI and pregnancy prevention.
Polyurethane condoms also offer STI and pregnancy prevention. They are thinner than standard latex or Polyisoprene condoms, which may increase sensitivity. However, polyurethane condoms also tend to be less elastic and looser-fitting, which may slightly increase the risk of slip-off or breaking during sex.
Female condoms (also called internal condoms) offer STI and pregnancy prevention as well, and they are made from a soft plastic material called nitrile that is thinner and stronger than latex.
Lambskin condoms offer protection against pregnancy, but be aware that they do not protect against STIs.
If you think you are allergic or sensitive to condoms but do not have a confirmed latex allergy, it is also possible that you are reacting to either a spermicide on the condom or a lubricant. See an allergist to assess your allergy.