Absorbent allergy: what causes it and what are the options?

On average, a woman enters the reproductive phase between 11 and 14 years of age, finishing at around 55 years of age. For those who menstruate, this means that there are, on average, more than 40 with monthly menstrual bleeding.

Many women feel uncomfortable during menstruation days, itching, irritation and redness in the skin of the intimate area. And this has a reason that many are still unaware of: allergy to absorbent.

Although the situation generates doubts and concern, some information can help to alleviate discomfort. Learn more about this and how to deal with allergies during menstruation:

What is an allergy to an absorbent?

Allergy to the absorbent is a contact dermatitis , that is, a skin sensitivity to some component. The intensity can be quite variable, triggering from mild discomfort in the region to intense itching, redness and swelling in the areas that come in contact with the absorbent.

According to the Brazilian Society of Dermatology (SBD), contact dermatitis is an inflammatory reaction that is triggered by contact with an irritant or allergen.

It is worth remembering that contact dermatitis can occur without prior notice. That is, it is possible that the woman uses an absorbent since her first menstruation and only years later has some sensitivity – but it can also occur in the first contact.

This sensitivity can happen only with some absorbents (as they contain a certain substance that others do not) or it can be an allergy to components common to all brands.

Although all absorbents are potentially irritating, colored and perfumed ones are the most risky, as they contain more components that can trigger allergies.

Therefore, when showing any sign of irritation, which is repeated monthly during bleeding periods, it is worth paying attention to the body’s signs and consulting a dermatologist to assess the condition.

What are the causes of allergy in the private parts?

Allergy to the pad, or so-called contact dermatitis, is caused when there is sensitivity to any component present in the pad. Some factors can favor it to appear, such as humidity, heat and friction between the skin and the absorbent material.

It is worth remembering that the uncomfortable signs may appear soon after the first use or years later. It may also be common for certain brands to be allergic and others not to be. This means that there is sensitivity to certain components that are not present in all products or manufacturers.

In general, it is common for absorbents to be composed of plastics, odor inhibitors, gels to absorb menstrual blood. But, in addition to these common ones, there are some with fragrances, acetone and other synthetic fabrics.

What are the symptoms of allergy to absorbent?

It is common for those who are allergic to the tampon to feel the skin of the most sensitive intimate region during use and even a few days after the end of menstruation.

Itching, redness, burning in the mucosa, feeling of rash on the skin and, in some cases, even swelling ( edema ) in the region may appear .

Papules and small wounds can also appear, leading to flaking and dry skin appearance.

Causes bubbles?

Can cause. Friction between the skin and the tissue can trigger skin injuries (blisters). In addition, as the allergy causes a lot of itching, if the region is scratched, there may be damage to the dermis, causing these wounds to be intensified.

However, it is important that any manifestation is evaluated by specialists, in order to confirm the diagnosis with confidence.

Is absorbent allergy candidiasis?

No. Candidiasis is an infection by the fungus of the genus candida. In general, it occurs when some condition affects immunity or unbalances the pH of the intimate region, causing this fungus to proliferate and cause symptoms.

Thus, the allergy to the absorbent is not candidiasis and is also not able to cause the infection, but the conditions can be easily confused.

In general, they have similar symptoms, such as redness in the intimate area, itching and tenderness. However, it is worth remembering that contact dermatitis (that is, allergy to the absorbent) is just an irritation of the skin to a certain component, with no infection by fungi or bacteria.

What to do when you are allergic to the absorbent?

It is essential to go to a dermatological consultation to assess the condition, as it may be necessary to use medicated ointments to relieve symptoms and treat the region. But this should only be done with medical advice.

After symptom relief, you need to consider what options are available during menstrual bleeding days.

When discovering allergy to the absorbent, it is worth paying attention to whether all brands and versions of the product cause the sensitivity. Sometimes, there are options that can be used without triggering any symptoms.

It is common, for example, for some women to have contact dermatitis due to the tabs on the pads, which contain plastics and adhesive agents. Therefore, just opting for a version without tabs can already resolve the discomfort.

If the allergy goes to all versions, there are still many options like:

Absorbent panties

Absorbent panties are still not so popular in Brazil, but they are already starting to gain space here. They look like ordinary panties, but they are produced with waterproof fabrics, so that they retain the flow, preventing leaks.

Because it is in fact a pair of panties, it covers the entire intimate area well, preventing leaks and becoming very comfortable for everyday life.

In general, it is usually sufficient for light to moderate flows, but the brands usually indicate that, if the woman has an intense flow, the ideal is to combine the absorbent panties with another retention barrier.

Their average price is R $ 100, but considering that they are washable and long lasting, the value is quickly compensated.

Cloth absorbers

Before, cloth absorbers were very common, at the time when disposable versions had not yet been developed. Now, with the growth of the ecological movement, which takes into account the volume of waste produced, the cloth absorbers are taking over their space.

This time, they are more modern, decorated and with several options of models and designs. They are made with layers of cotton fabric, suitable for the intimate region and that do not let the flow through.

As they are natural fabrics and free of synthetic and chemical components, they do not cause irritation, let the intimate region breathe better and are much more economical. The average price is on average R $ 50 and it has long durability.

Menstrual collectors

Menstrual collectors already have fans all over the world. They are an ecological version for the days of menstrual bleeding, being very similar to a cup (as they are also called).

The product is made of medicinal silicone, which reduces allergies and is very safe.

One of the great advantages is that the emptying time of the cup is longer than a normal absorbent (which must be changed every 3 or 4 hours).

With the collector, you can spend up to 8 to 10 hours with it in light to moderate flows – remembering that it is possible to go to the bathroom normally while using the collector.

It is also possible to find different sizes and colors of the product. And the average price is in the range of R $ 45.

Some options are:

  • Prudence Softcup Disposable Menstrual Collector ;
  • Fleurity Menstrual Collector
  • Inciclo Menstrual Collector .


The intimate pad is also the most common option to the traditional one, as it is very easy to find it in pharmacies and the market, right next to the packs of pad.

It can be an option for those who have allergies, as there is no contact between the skin and cotton. But it is also worth keeping an eye on, because just like the external version, the tampon can have components that trigger allergies.

In addition, attention is needed to make the correct change and always remember not to sleep with the product.

Do you have an absorbent that is hypoallergenic?

There are some options of disposable pads considered antiallergic, as they are free of any type of perfume, chemical and synthetic ingredients. They are made with cotton fabrics, which helps to minimize allergies and irritations, in addition to allowing a better breathing of the skin.

These products are usually found in organic and ecological stores, being very common in vegan brands, as they value the use of natural ingredients and components. This, then, considerably reduces the risk of allergies.

Remedies for absorbent allergy: when do I need to use them?

In general, just stop using the sanitary pad for the symptoms to disappear. However, in very intense or long-term conditions, wounds, such as blisters, and severe irritation can occur in the region.

Thus, it may be that the doctor or dermatologist guides the use of medications, such as ointments or creams with corticosteroids. In general, it is essential to keep the area clean and well ventilated, which helps to ease the discomfort.

It is also necessary to avoid the use of soaps (including intimate ones), washing the intimate region only with water, to reduce the aggression to the dermis. It may also be indicated to make compresses or sitz baths, which must be guided by specialists.

Several components can trigger allergies, and that includes absorbents. Therefore, keeping an eye on the signs that the body gives is the best way to identify the condition and seek appropriate medical guidance.

The Healthy Minute has tips for all phases of menstruation and helps to take care of the woman’s health. Follow our articles!