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Women urged: Skip underwear at home

MANILA, Philippines — House Deputy Majority Leader Janette Garin has advised women not to use underwear at home this summer to avoid contracting fungal infections.

Garin, former secretary of the Department of Health, said women are prone to fungal infections, due to the nature of their “intimate area.”

“It’s not a sexually transmitted disease. It is due to the women’s natural flora in the intimate area… in the perineal area of women,” Garin yesterday said.

She said that when this area gets wet because of sweat, it becomes a “perfect petri dish” for fungi to grow.

“The candida albicans in the skin will multiply and becomes itchy. The more you scratch, the more it will itch. You should not scratch it,” she said, referring to the naturally occuring fungus in the body.

Garin said that while the condition is curable, it is important to keep a woman’s intimate area dry.

She asked the public not to put malice on her advice.

Meanwile, Health Secretary Ted Herbosa said women need not go “commando” this summer to avoid getting yeast infection.

Herbosa made the statement during a Senate committee hearing yesterday, wherein he was asked to comment on Garin’s advice.

“That advice is usually for candidiasis,” Herbosa said, referring to the vaginal fungal infection.

“Wearing cotton underwear is an option if you don’t want to go commando, because it also does not trap moisture,” he added.

While there is nothing wrong with not wearing underwear to keep cool, a better alternative is to wear cotton underpants, according to women health undersecretaries present in the hearing.

“I frequent my ob-gynecologists and she recommends cotton underwear for women,” Health Undersecretary Emmie Perez-Chion said.

“Aside from using cotton underwear, we have feminine wash that also prevents the development of fungal infection,” Health Undersecretary Maria Francia Laxamana said.

Herbosa said that unlike women, men are not as susceptible to fungal infections, because both sexes have different ph levels in their genital areas.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned the public against buying and using an unnotified sunblock cream.

In an advisory, the FDA said the Perfect Skin All Naturals