Dr. Blatt and the Unexplored Area of Women’s Intimate Skincare
“My patients would come in and be impeccably dressed. Their hair would be perfect, their skin, their make-up, everything was perfect, and then I would go to do my gynecology exam, and I would notice that the external genitalia skin was dry, saggy and flaky. And I thought, ‘This is almost odd. They take care of their whole body to make themselves look good, but their external genitalia, it’s totally ignored,'” says Dr. Blatt, when talking about his middle-aged and older patients in his first, gynecological practice in 1986, on the wealthy Upper-East side of Manhattan.
The frequency of that disconnect is what gave Dr. Blatt the idea of creating a special skincare line to take care of those kinds of intimate problems because in his words, “It wasn’t just an area that was underserved, it wasn’t being served at all. There was nothing on the market, and no one even thought about it, and they really should.” Many years later, as his practice developed and after talking to many of the people that he worked with, he was able to develop PrivateRx (http://www.privaterx.com), beginning with an external vaginal moisturizer.
According to Dr. Blatt, most moisturizing products on today’s shelves are designed for the face or the body, not the external vaginal area which has very sensitive skin. He says going to the lab to develop his products was even an education for him as a gynecologist because he wanted to design them from the very beginning, “not just have, any-old lotion.”
Each product is developed individually, but they all have certain characteristics that are different from products not designed for intimate areas. They won’t irritate that delicate skin, which is different from the rest of the body. The products need to be medically beneficial and natural too, without fragrances, hormones, or the need for a prescription.
Dr. Blatt says the feedback on his products has been very positive and personally gratifying too. Patient and customer satisfaction is obviously very important to him. He is especially excited to discuss the benefits of the flagship product of the Private Rx’s line, the external vaginal moisturizer. This all natural, topical moisturizer was created to help women seeking relief from external vaginal dryness.
Dr. Blatt reports that until just a few years ago, gynecologists mainly recommended hormone replacement therapy for menopausal and perimenopausal women, but recent studies have shown that many of the initial claims about estrogen and progesterone were false, “We were advising patients that it would decrease heart disease, but in fact, there was a slight increase in heart disease, and in clots and strokes, as well as a slight increase in breast cancer, so doctors changed their prescribing habits, avoiding hormones. They still have a place in treatment for menopausal women, but much less than it used to be.”
Hormone therapy, however, should still be considered, according to Dr. Blatt, in the cases of menopause, when it isn’t ruled out by something in a patient’s medical history. A short course of hormones for a few months can get such women over the worst of the hot flashes and other symptoms. Anti-anxiety medications can also be prescribed
When it comes to the over-the-counter products found in health food stores, like black cohosh, and soy products, Dr. Blatt says that while, “the medical literature says they won’t help, I’ve had enough patients where they have helped, that I think it’s an individual thing, so you can try those. It works for some patients and not others.” He also advises menopausal women to avoid things that can set hot flashes off, like alcohol, caffeine, spicy foods and tobacco, as well as to sleep in a cool room. But, lack of estrogen can cause difficulties in relationships in perimenopausal women too, Dr. Blatt points out, because intimacy can become uncomfortable, so he suggests, “They need to use internal moisturizers, and we feel ours is the best.”
The intimate skincare line was designed with menopausal women in mind. The products needed to be medically beneficial, safe for all women who have had or are having chemotherapy, radiation or hormonal treatments, natural and fragrance free. Women who are breastfeeding, who have had breast cancer or chemotherapy, or who have surgical induced menopause often get dry, vaginal areas. The products are for any age group and can be used together. The internal moisturizer is used every 3 days but women might choose to use it before intercourse. Dr. Blatt says it feels exactly like a woman’s natural lubrication, with no added fragrance or taste.