Part 4. Lifestyle tips
Here are just a few miscellaneous things I've noticed throughout my journey.
Sleeping too much - I don't know if its just due to the area being warm and potentially a little sweaty when under the blankets all night, but I notice if I sleep more than 8 - 9 hours (i.e. those Friday nights when nothing calls for getting out of bed for 14 hours), I'll wake up worse than I went to bed. Keep the area clean, dry, and preferably not overly warm. Washing the affected area before bed may mitigate.
And on that note: wash the affected area two to three times a day during outbreaks. Try to use a gentle, natural soap. I use Chandrika's ayurvedic forumla, its something like 50% coconut oil.
Epsom salt baths can help treat the dry, flakey skin, and will also aid your detox. Take two to three a week maximum, as they pull will minerals and electrolytes out of you as well as toxins.
When using condoms (get used to it, every time - and get used to having that conversation with every partner you have. It's the responsible thing to do), give latex free a try. I noticed significantly less irritation when I switched. I also recommend washing afterwards, leaving synthetic lube on the area overnight will make breakouts worse.
I think this is an appropriate note to end on: I can't say enough good things for intermittent fasting. When the body isn't using energy for digestion, it is healing and rebuilding. See here and here.
**Disclaimer on the vegan thing: I was eating LOTS of vegetables, flax, coconut, coconut oil, avocado, hemp seed, nuts, etc. I attribute my success with this methodology to 1) being grain-free, 2) consuming sufficient amounts of detoxifying vegetables, and 3) eating enough good fats. This way of eating just wasn't sustainable due to hunger and prolonged healing times due to my low protein intake. A typical vegetarian diet (gluten-free grains, legumes, soy) is going to make the condition worse, I know because I've been there.