Pimples in the female genital area are a common condition that is caused by a variety of factors. They may be irritating and uncomfortable, but they are not serious in most cases. Please read the article to know more.
Vaginal pimples are similar in appearance to the pimples that occur in other areas of the body. However, they can have different characteristics; for example, they may be,
Painful or painless.
Flesh-colored or red.
Pus-filled (clusters or alone).
Bumps on the vagina are technically not pimples, and because of their appearance, many people call them pimples. But the truth is genital bumps generally form on the vulva, which is the outer part of the genitals. They include,
Labia majora (outer lips).
Labia minora (inner lips).
External part of the clitoris.
Vaginal and urethral openings.
The vulva is super delicate, and for some people, it becomes easily irritated. The following are the main causes of vaginal pimples, they are,
Contact dermatitis occurs due to contact with chemicals found in products such as scented pads, bubble baths, tampons, laundry detergents, condoms, and vaginal creams, as well as sweat, semen, urine, and vaginal discharge. These chemicals irritate the labia and start to develop bumps in the area. These pimple-like bumps are caused by contact dermatitis and can be painful and itchy.
In order to know what is causing contact dermatitis, stop using the product that comes in contact with the vulva and then gradually reintroduce them. Once you determine what is causing pimples on the labia, you can stop using it.
When you get rid of the irritant, the pimple-like bumps will often go away on their own. However, if the contact dermatitis requires further treatment, the doctor may recommend,
Antihistamine pills are used to control itching.
Unscented and non-irritating, moisturizing creams also offer some relief.
Pimples on the labia majora (outer lips) most commonly occurs due to folliculitis. It usually occurs when the bacteria start to invade the pubic hair follicles on the labia. When the hairs grow out of these pubic hair follicles, they often curl back into the skin. Increased risk of folliculitis occurs due to,
Shaving pubic hair.
Wearing tight-fitting underwear.
Folliculitis usually disappear on its own but in order to prevent folliculitis,
Avoid shaving pubic hair.
Shave the pubic hair in the same direction of growth.
Avoid wearing tight underwear.
Shower after sweating a lot.
Loose-fitting clothes like cotton and linen help to keep the area clean, calm, and dry (breathable fibers).
Pimples on the labia can also be caused by the virus, Molluscum contagiosum. It spreads through sexual or causal contact with the skin of a person who has it or objects that carry it.
This infection will usually clear on its own within 6 to 12 months. It can also be treated with oral or topical medication, or the bumps can be removed by a doctor using lasers or cryotherapy.
It is a long-term condition where pimples on the labia form in the hair roots near sweat glands. This results in blockage of hair follicles, secondary infection, or inflammation of sweat glands. In order to control symptoms, certain medications or surgery may be prescribed. In some cases, the doctor may prescribe antiseptic washes and topical antibiotic creams.
Sometimes, the pimples on the labia are actually warts, cysts, or other growths. Some of the few kinds are,
a) Bartholin's Cyst:
It is a fluid-filled sac that appears inside the vaginal opening.
It feels like a soft, painless lump that usually does not cause any problems.
When the cyst gets infected or grows very large, it becomes pretty uncomfortable and leads to painful skin surrounding the vagina.
So, it is better to reach a doctor when you come across pimples on the vagina.
b) Genital Herpes:
It is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the herpes simplex virus.
It causes pain, itching, sores, and small white blisters or tiny red bumps in the genital area.
It does not subside on its own, and some medications are needed to reduce the symptoms and risks of infecting others.
So, consult a doctor when you suspect genital herpes or sexually transmitted infection.
c) Genital Warts:
It is a superficial skin lesion caused by human papillomavirus (HPV).
They appear to be flat with tiny protrusions that appear like stems.
They normally appear on the vulva but sometimes occur on the cervix, near the anus, or in the vagina.
Genital warts usually heal on their own, without any treatment, but there is no cure for the virus, so they can reappear.
1. Determining the Cause:
Knowing the actual cause of the bumps on the vagina determines the correct treatment.
Have a note of the occurrence of the pimples on the labia; also note the products or other factors which affect the genital area, including hot tub usage and shaving.
Avoid all products that come in contact with the genital area, including laundry detergents, for some time. Then, once symptoms subside, slowly reintroduce the products to note any adverse reactions.
2. Remove Irritants:
Once the cause of infection or irritation is identified, stop using the product.
For example, if the cause is due to shaving, reduce using a new blade and shave in the direction of the hair growth.
Also, keep hot tubs clean, and use only properly treated pools to shower. Avoid using oils on the skin as they can trap bacteria in the follicles.
3. Avoid Squeezing Vaginal Pimples:
Do not squeeze or pop vaginal pimples as it can cause further pain and irritation.
The bacteria starts to spread and increases the risk of causing infection when it is squeezed or popped.
So wait for a pimple to rupture naturally or get medical treatment.
4. Heat Therapy:
Heat therapy is helpful to relieve pain and itching, so treat the area with a warm compress.
Soak a towel in warm water and squeeze it out before placing it on the skin. Repeat this treatment several times a day.
Always the area should be pat dry before dressing to avoid bacterial growth.
Talk to the doctor about medications for pimples on the labia.
Contact dermatitis - Topical medications or antihistamines may be recommended.
Infections - Topical or oral antibiotics may be recommended.
Acne inversa - Early diagnosis and treatment are advised to keep symptoms under control.
Molluscum contagiosum - Clears up without treatment, but medication may be prescribed for persistent cases.
Usually, genital pimples occur from lifestyle changes and the products you take, so prevent tiny inconveniences from popping up the pimples on the labia.
Keep the vaginal area dry and clean; also, avoid tight-fitting underwear to prevent an unhealthy environment for the genitals.
Choose underwear made from fabrics, and take a shower after exercise. Avoid skin irritants like scented lotions, creams, soaps, and products made with harsh chemicals.
When you are not sure what is the reason for pimples on the labia, seek a doctor to figure out what is the causative factor because, regardless of the cause, a health care provider helps and treats you to achieve the best results.
Last reviewed at:
27 Apr 2022 - 5 min read
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