DOH urges women: Use cotton underwear during hot weather

Kristine Daguno-Bersamina - Philstar.com
DOH urges women: Use cotton underwear during hot weather
Elderly pedestrians carry umbrellas to protect themselves from extreme heatas they walk at a popular shopping street in Manila on April 2, 2024. Extreme heat have affected many areas in the country as the weather bureau declared the start of summer season.
AFP / Ted Aljibe

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday has advised women to wear cotton underwear to prevent fungal infections amid the rising temperatures.

This recommendation from the Health department comes after House Deputy Majority Leader and Iloilo Representative Janette Garin suggested that women should refrain from wearing underwear at home.

During a Senate hearing, Health Secretary Teodoro Herbosa acknowledged the validity of Garin's advice, pointing to the vulnerability of women to fungal infections like candidiasis in warm conditions.

"Moisture kasi allows the fungal infection to proliferate. So may basis yun. Related to the fungal infection and the heat, 'pag mainit, pinagpawisan, may moisture doon sa ating private areas of women, so it can lead to candidiasis or itchiness don sa kanilang genitalia," Herbosa said.

(Moisture allows the fungal infection to proliferate. So there's basis for that. It's related to fungal infection and heat. When it's hot and humid, sweat can accumulate in women's private areas, leading to candidiasis or itchiness.)

"Ang usual advice for women suffering candidiasis is really to wear cotton underwear. Kung ayaw niyo mag-commando, mag-cotton underwear because it also does not trap moisture," he added.

(The usual advice for women with candidiasis is to wear cotton underwear. If you don't want to go commando, wear cotton underwear because it doesn't trap moisture.)

Garin, a former Health secretary and a practicing physician, recently said that women face an increased risk of fungal infections when wearing tight clothing in hot weather.

"Minsan lalo na nasa tag-init, wala lang malisya, 'no? Pero kung nasa bahay ka lang naman at matutulog, it's quite advisable na walang underwear pero naka-pajama ka naman o naka-shorts. 'Yung ventilation na iyan ay epektibo para mapigilan at hindi na lumala 'yung fungal infection," Garin said.

(I suggest this with no malice, but when you're at home sleeping, it's advisable to skip wearing underwear under your pajamas or shorts. This can enhance ventilation and help prevent fungal infections.)

Education officials reported that hundreds of schools across the Philippines, with dozens located in Metro Manila, suspended in-person classes on Tuesday due to dangerous levels of heat.

PAGASA expected the heat index to escalate to "danger" levels, reaching 42 degrees Celsius in Manila on Tuesday and 43 degrees Celsius on Wednesday. Similar levels were projected for a dozen other areas across the country.

According to the state weather bureau, a heat index ranging from 42 to 51 degrees Celsius can lead to heat cramps and heat exhaustion, with heat stroke likely with prolonged exposure.

Heat cramps and heat exhaustion are also possible when the heat index ranges from 33 to 41 degrees Celsius. — with a report from Agence France-Presse

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