Lounging around after taking a dip in the pool or ocean is one of the best parts about the upcoming Spring and Summer months. The weather gets warmer, and our bodies get some much-needed vitamin D action from the sun.
Some of us can hang out in our wet bathing suits for hours — but that's a habit we might want to consider changing (like not getting out of our sweaty gym clothes ASAP). Staying in our wet bathing suits for too long can cause some less-than-desired outcomes, like vaginal infections.
Mache Siebel, MD, Ob/Gyn, tells POPSUGAR, "Yeast infections are very common in the Spring and Summer months because yeast tends to grow in warm, moist areas and since many women are spending long periods of time in their wet bathing suits, in the sun, they are more prone to infection."
According to Dr. Siebel, "Yeast and bacteria are naturally present in the vaginal environment and need to remain in balance to avoid infection. There are [two] types of bacteria that live in the vagina: pathogenic (bad) and beneficial bacteria. The pathogenic bacteria can cause odor and infection and beneficial bacteria help keep everything in check."
Additionally, according to Dr. Anna Karp, dermatologist at the Skin Institute of New York, when we stay in a wet bathing suit, our skin can be exposed to fungal infections because "the [combination of] heat and wetness is a perfect environment for fungi to grow. You can get infections such as tinea corporis or tinea versicolour."
While some people are more susceptible to these infections than others, it's never a bad idea to take precaution when it comes to our health.
So can we still relax and get our tan on after taking a dip in the water? Absolutely!
Dr. Siebel reminds us to do ourselves a favor and "remove your suit after you're done swimming, and put on a cover-up or change clothes."