Underwear Sensitivity

by Courteney
(Orange County, CA)

My 5 year old daughter has been very sensitive "down there" since she was an infant. She discovered the sensitivity around the age of 12 months, and it has been very upsetting for her to wear certain things, like underwear, and especially underwear WITH pants or tights WITH a leotard. She goes into a complete meltdown, clearly in agonizing discomfort from when the leotard touches the tights in the crotch, and she just can't get it to be comfortable.

She would never sit down with any clothes on, and it got worse as time went on, rather than better. She is consciously trying to sit in her carseat, for example, without taking her lower clothing off, or sit at the table without sitting on her foot... so she has to sit on her foot or wear nothing down there, just so she can be comfortable. When I wash her, I have to be especially careful not to do more than a single quick, gentle brush with a wash cloth down there, as it "really tickles" and I don't really feel comfortable about it. I am not a prude, but I just feel very protective of her, and it bothers me how sensitive she is. I try not to focus on it or make a big deal, but we do talk about it sometimes, since I am very open with her and feel it is nothing to be ashamed of.

I worry that there is something I need to do to help her get through this, since I have thought since she was 1 or 2 that if I just don't make it a focus, she might outgrow it. She wears leggings a lot or nylon "shots" underwear with a dress or skirt, but cotton panties bother her, and more than one layer sends her through the roof.

Please let me know if you have ever heard of this and what I might be able to do to help her be more comfortable while also being properly clothed. We have come a long way, but today she lost it trying to wear her leotard on top of her tights for her dance class. She also said that it is getting worse now, not better. She says there was a time when it was less, but now it seems to be more bothersome.

Thank you!

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Aug 19, 2017
Underwear sensitivity--we're seeing improvement!
by: Anonymous

At age 5 years my daughter began showing sensitivity to underwear and any clothing binding her fanny (bathing suits, pants, shorts, tights). One concern she was able to voice was the elastic hems on typical "girl" underwear. My son's underwear has fabric covering the elastic in the hems, so when we could not find girl underwear with covered hems that fit her comfortably--we let her wear "boy" underwear.

Two weeks ago, reading your story and similar ones, I wondered what sort of physical therapy would help; seeing no answer online, I watched videos for other sensitivities and thought, "Massage and exercise seem to help with other sensitivities." So, my daughter has agreed I should give her a massage after her shower on the problem areas, then put on the underwear and massage again, then put on the shorts/pants and massage again. She still makes faces about the clothing going on, but she flops down on the bed and points at her fanny, asking me to massage if I "forget." The tantrums have decreased amazingly.

I hope this helps you and others.

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