Do You Get “Heat Rashes”?

No need to suffer in silence.

If you don’t get “heat rashes”, you probably don’t want to read this post. Just sayin’. I’ve debated whether or not to write about this for years, but let’s face it, the world isn’t getting any cooler.

Here’s the thing: I’ve suffered from what I thought were heat rashes for years, and spoke to several doctors about it, some of whom were even gynecologists, and most of them didn’t take the situation seriously. But it was life-altering for me, and not in a good way. This particular condition tends to happen in the warmest, most moist parts of your body, the groin and sometimes the underside of breasts, and therefore people find it very uncomfortable to discuss. Many suffer in silence. I did for the longest time. (Heat rashes that occur elsewhere on your body are probably a different thing, and unfortunately I can’t help you there.)

When you get a really bad flare up of this condition, it feels like sandpaper that has been set afire. Any movement in that area, or any clothes rubbing against it, hurts like the Dickens. It’s truly miserable. As much as the situation had been blown off by various doctors, I assumed I’d have to live with it.

Some gave me very bad advice. Try using talcum powder in those areas. Keep the area as dry and cool as you can. So I’d sit naked, bepowdered, with a fan, or sometimes even an ice pack. And it kind of sort of worked, if I was willing to entirely give up my life and sit like that forever. Tempting. I’d catch up on my reading. But life does go on.

Another doctor suggested Gold Bond Medicated Powder. Not much better. Another suggested Anti Monkey Butt Powder, which is used for chafing. Some people swear by this, and I find that it helps some, too, but it doesn’t solve the problem. It just makes it more tolerable. Another suggested athlete’s foot cream. No help at all.

Finally, I got a doctor to take me seriously, and she told me that what I was calling heat rashes are actually external yeast infections. I didn’t even know you could get them externally. See, I knew it wasn’t normal, and it shouldn’t be something we just tolerate! I knew it!

She said this type of yeast does thrive in hot, moist areas, but just dealing with the heat and moisture isn’t going to get rid of it. I was liking what I was hearing. Then she suggested a book called The Yeast Connection and it’s accompanying cookbook, and I ran home and immediately bought them online. Finally, some hope.

But then I read the book, and I felt like crying. I even blogged about it. If you want to hear about the impossible rules that that book expects you to follow, then read my post entitled “A Failure to Completely Alter My Life”. If you can turn yourself into an entirely different person, then more power to you. But I knew for me it was a set up for failure. I was so discouraged. I don’t come right out and mention yeast infections in that post. I was still too ashamed. That was back in 2019. And things have only gotten hotter and sweatier since then.

I knew there had to be a simpler solution. And I suspected others were quietly suffering like I was. I even missed a few days of work during bad flare ups because it hurt to walk. Something had to change.

Finally I found a nurse practitioner that actually knew what she was talking about and gave me a workable solution.

  • First and foremost, don’t wear close-fitting or nylon underwear. I wear loose cotton boxers and sports bras now. No elastic down below, no underwires up above.
  • Second, I keep my nether regions trimmed to reduce heat and sweat retention.
  • Third, wash those areas with PH Balance Vagisil, not soap.
  • Fourth, and probably most important, I use Boudreaux’s Butt Paste with Natural Aloe. It’s for diaper rash, but it works for me, because it has zinc in it. The zinc kills off the yeast. At least that’s the conclusion I’ve drawn. (I bet there are plenty of zinc type creams out there that would work just as well. This just happens to be the product I found that I like best.)

For the first time in 20 years, I feel like I’ve got the situation not just reduced to a tolerable level, but also under control. But I’m not a doctor. Your results may vary, and taking my advice is entirely your decision. (I’m also not a butt paste or Vagisil salesman, believe me.) But I’m telling you, you don’t have to live with this embarrassing and uncomfortable condition. And since I struggled so much to get reliable information and to be taken seriously, I thought I might share the news with those who are also struggling.

Our silence on this issue contributes to the suffering. Hence, this post. Having to get this personal kind of makes me squirm. I’m not crazy about the idea of focusing your reading gaze on my nether regions, but I hope my solution works for you. I really do. Good luck.

No. This isn’t me. Photo found on the internet.

Now is the perfect time to stay at home and read a good book. Try mine!


Lemons as Jet Fuel, or Why I Haven’t Given Up on the Environment

It’s really easy to despair at the state of the environment. Global climate change becomes increasingly impossible to deny with each passing day. But our government seems to be doing everything in its power to maintain our outmoded culture of fossil fuelishness.

And yet, even in this sea of pervasive ignorance and selfishness and greed, there are little islands of hope. We have made scientific inroads, and this progress seems to be exponential. We are discovering better ways to live in the world.

Just getting rid of our old fashioned light bulbs, for example, has made an undeniable impact. And a zero emissions trolley just rolled past my window. We are learning more effective ways to recycle. We are even coming up with methods of getting energy from our landfills. (You don’t often hear of anything positive coming from a landfill.) Our solar cells and batteries are becoming much more efficient, and wind power is gaining a foothold. We are starting to actually grasp how dangerous pipelines and fracking are.

Just the other day, I stumbled upon this intriguing article from the University of Queensland. A researcher there is coming up with a way to mass produce limonene, the chemical that gives citrus its smell, with the end goal of using that to produce a clean, renewable jet fuel. Now how cool is that?

Dr. Claudia Vickers maintains that it would be impossible to produce enough limonene from lemon peels, but she’s working with yeast that may create a synthetic form of it in larger quantities. I find this fascinating. And it gives me hope for the future.

Discoveries such as this are why we need to encourage our youth to embrace science. We need researchers and physicists and biologists and chemists and mathematicians if we are ever to pull ourselves out of this downward spiral that we have brought upon ourselves. Science doesn’t have to be hard or boring or geeky. It can be amazing and rewarding and heroic.

The bottom line is that science is our only hope. And we should never give up hope.


When life gives you lemons, buy my uplifting book about gratitude!

A Superfund Site with a Silver Lining

On my way to the library today I heard one of those stories on Public Radio International that makes me sit in the car in the parking lot long after I’ve arrived at my destination, just listening. The program in question, Radio Lab, is one of my favorites, and you can listen to this particular episode here, but I’ll give you a basic recap.

There’s a place in Butte, Montana were 1/3 of our nation’s copper came from at one time. It’s called Berkeley Pit, and it’s a pit mine that’s a mile long, a half mile wide, and a third of a mile deep. They also used to extract gold and silver there. But when the mine finally played itself out it was abandoned and began filling with water.

Now it’s a lake, but the weirdest lake you will ever see in your life. It’s bright red and yellow and a sick green and full of toxic chemicals like arsenic, cadmium, zinc, copper, and cobalt. It’s an acidic soup, basically, and that’s why it’s become a Superfund site. The water keeps rising, and if it gets much higher it will leech into the ground water, and needless to say that’s a big fat problem for the residents of Butte.

But here’s the weird thing about the Berkeley Pit. Some good has come of it, too. Scientists have discovered some extremophiles that actually thrive in that toxic stew in the form of fungus and algae that, it turns out, may inhibit leukemia! Now, how cool is that? You can get more technical details about that at the Chemotherapy Advisor website here.

And in an interesting plot twist, back in 1995, 300 snow geese landed on this deadly lake to wait out a storm, and naturally they didn’t survive. But there’s this yeast that has heretofore only been found in anal swabs of snow geese (and don’t ask me who decided that it was important to take anal swabs of snow geese, but there you have it), and ever since 1995, this yeast has been thriving in Berkeley Pit, and it turns out that it likes to eat heavy metals and is helping to clean the water. What are the odds? Not that you’d want to take a bath there despite their cleaning efforts, but still.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Nature is awesome.

berkeley-pit-butte-mt-300x200 berkeley

[Image credits: and]