When you’re in a hurry after a shower, drying off can seem a little tedious. But if you slip into your underpants before you’re completely dry down there, you might be putting yourself at risk of a yeast infection. Speaking to Glamor, Dr. Jason James, medical director of FemCare Ob-Gyn in Miami, notes that yeast thrives in humid environments. For this reason, yeast infections are more common in the summer, when we’re more likely to have sweat buildup near the genitals, or we’re hanging out by the pool in a wet bathing suit all day.
According to a 2020 study published in Microbial Cell, Candida occurs naturally in the vaginal area. It will usually live there under the radar thanks to Lactobacillus – good bacteria that act as competitors to Candida in a vaginal environment. However, when there is an imbalance, the good bacteria can lose the battle. This can lead to an overgrowth of yeast, which can cause an infection (according to Healthline).
James says that heat, moisture, and friction can cause changes in the pH of the vagina that open the door for yeast to grow out of control. Making sure you dry yourself properly will greatly improve your chances of preventing infection. For women on the go, he recommends bare hair or makeup to give time for proper air drying. Alternatively, if you’re wearing a skirt or dress, put your panties on before you head out the door.