HomeAnswersVenereologyinfectionI have a reddish swelling with intermittent pain on my right labia majora. What could be the reason?

What causes painful reddish swelling on the labia majora?

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The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

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iCliniq medical review team

Published At September 4, 2022
Reviewed AtJanuary 22, 2024

Patient's Query

Hi doctor,

I have reddish swelling on my right labia majora, which occurred three days back. I did not have pain for the past two days, but I have had intermittent pain in the last 24 hours. Also, I have got small wheatish colored bumps across my inner thighs, which are painless, and they have been there for the past two weeks. Kindly give me your suggestions.

Hello,

Welcome to icliniq.com. I went through your query and understood your concern. There are several causes for swelling on the labia, such as furuncle and Bartholin cyst. It is tough to diagnose without pictures. Can you please attach a few pictures for me to review? Once I see the picture, we will discuss it further. Take care.

Patient's Query

Hi doctor,

Thank you for your reply. I have attached the image for your reference. The swelling on the upper vaginal wall occurred three days back. I had no pain in the last two days, but I have been experiencing intermittent pain in the last 24 hours. The wheatish-colored bumps exist for around two weeks, but they are painless. So right now, there is no pain. Only the swelling still exists. Kindly share your opinion.

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com. The picture is not very clear (attachment removed to protect the patient's identity). The swelling on the labia looks like it has a white surface or could be a reflection of light while taking pictures. It does not look like Bartholin's cyst, as I thought initially. And those skin-colored bumps look like folliculitis. It is inflammation of the hair follicle. However, I have a few questions for you, 1. Does it feel hard? 2. Is there a break in the skin surface with some oozing? 3. Do you wax or shave? 4. Are you sexually active? 5. Do you feel any enlarged nodes in the groin region? 6. Is there any skin rash on your palms or anywhere else in the body? 7. Is it the first time you have noticed this kind of lesion? Kindly follow up with answers for better understanding.

Patient's Query

Hi doctor,

Thank you for your reply. Here are my answers to your questions, 1. They are not hard and can be squeezed easily. 2. There is a mild break in the skin. 3. Yes, I shave. 4. I am sexually active but have not had sex in the last two months. 5. There are no enlarged nodes in my groin region. 6. Yes, I have rashes on my palm. I have recently shifted to a hostel, and my palms and hands are mostly itchy. I have been using Betnovate-C cream for that. 7. Yes, I am noticing such lesions for the first time. 8. The color of the swelling is reddish (they might look white due to light reflection in the picture). 9. The color of other small bumps around the thighs is wheatish and has been present for the past two to three weeks. Kindly share your opinion on this.

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com. 1. Regarding those wheatish bumps and given the history of shaving, they do look like folliculitis. Therefore, I suggest you to apply topical Clindamycin 1 % (topical antibiotic) lotion twice a day for two weeks. 2. The nodules on the labia point towards sexually transmitted infections (STIs). However, I cannot conclusively say that without doing laboratory tests. But it is very much necessary to rule out this condition. Also, was your last sexual intercourse unprotected? I suggest you to consult a specialist to examine the swelling and get tested for STIs. Take care.

Patient's Query

Hi doctor,

Thank you for your reply. No, I did not have unprotected sexual intercourse. Also, I wonder if STI is possible after two months of having sex because the swelling was visible only three to four days back. Also, I am in my hostel, which is a rural area, and we are not allowed to go out. So, getting tested here is a little complicated for me. However, I am planning to go home after 15 days, but I am worried that things might worsen. Also, I have had pilonidal sinus surgery in the past, so I wonder if that is related to the present issue. Please suggest a solution for this.

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com. The incubation period can range from three to eight weeks. And again, I am not saying it is an STI (sexually transmitted infection). But because of the presentation, it should be ruled out. I hope this has helped you.

Patient's Query

Hi doctor,

Thank you for your reply. Alright, I understand, doctor. Also, as per my observation, the swelling has reduced slightly compared to how it was two days ago. Thank you.

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com. The pilonidal sinus is in the buttock area. And after surgery, there can be an obstruction to lymphatic drainage, causing swelling. But it is a rare presentation to see swelling on the labia. So I do not think it is related. Can you send a few more clear pictures for better understanding? Thank you.

Patient's Query

Hi doctor,

Thank you for your reply. Sure, doctor, I will send it. Thank you.

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com. It is one point against STI (sexually transmitted infection) if it gets better. But let me see more pictures so that I can compare. Thank you.

Patient's Query

Hi doctor,

Thank you for your reply. Are they clear now? Or should I retake it? Please answer.

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com. Now it looks clear. Maybe the earlier picture was a mirror image, and it looked like you had a lesion on the left labia. In this picture, I see an ulcer on the right labia. It could be traumatic from friction but unlikely as it is painless. Painless ulcers on the genitalia should be evaluated further. I would recommend getting an ulcer swab and testing it. I know it is overwhelming. Also, an in-person examination is very much necessary. Kindly get the tests done as soon as possible. I hope this has helped you.

Patient's Query

I can't really get the tests done before I go home which is not before 15 days. So can you recommend me some antibiotics or something for application for meanwhile so that it may not increase/spread.

You can use Clindamycin 1% lotion twice application for 2 week for those lesions. It is a topical antibiotic. And get the test done as soon as you can. Take care dear.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Ashwini. V. Swamy
Dr. Ashwini. V. Swamy

Venereology

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