Patting on talcum powder (or any powders, including some baby powders, that list talc among their ingredients) to feel fresher isn’t just a harmless hygiene measure. The habit can raise your risk of invasive ovarian cancer by about 30 percent, according to new research presented at the 2011 annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research. Frequent, long-term use doubled or even tripled the risk. The study authors speculate that the powder could spread to the genital tract and create an inflammatory reaction. Peterson’s advice: Don’t use it. “There are other ways to keep dry,” she says. If you’re prone to sweating down there, Peterson recommends wearing cotton underwear and changing them often, avoiding tight-fitting pants, and going commando at night (to give the area a chance to breathe).
Last Updated: 05/06/2011