Vaginal Pimples – What Should You Know About It?
Vaginal pimples or genital pimples are characterized as uncomfortable and irritable bumps at or around the genital region. These pimples appear similar to the lesions that occurs on other parts of the body. Vaginal pimples can be painless or painful, itchy, red or pus-filled and may appear in various sizes.
What Causes Vaginal Pimples?
Exact cause or pathophysiology of vaginal pimples is yet unknown however following are some contributing factors that are frequently associated with the formation of vaginal pimples:
- Contact dermatitis: A skin condition which occurs in response to physical contact with certain irritants or allergens such as:
- Tampons or sanitary pads (especially scented ones)
- Condoms, spermicides or lubricants
- Gels and lotions (medicated)
- Laundry detergents
- Shower gels, scented soaps
- Deodorants, powders and lotions
- Folliculitis: A condition in which the hair follicles or hair growing cavities, become infected and inflamed. Factors that promote folliculitis include:
- Ingrown hair
- Wearing skin tight clothes that rubs against the skin
- Blocked follicles due to improper use of certain personal hygiene products or sweat
- Exposure to contaminated pool or hot tub
- Acne inversa: It is also referred to as hidradenitis suppurativa. It is a skin condition that is caused by chronic inflammation of sweat gland, located under the breasts and in the groin region. The condition causes recurrent sores and spots containing pus. They may leave scars and are difficult to treat.
- Molluscum contagiosum: These lesions occur on the genital area as well as on other parts of the body, due to viral infection. The lesions typically last for 6-12 months.
Usually vaginal pimples resolve spontaneously without needing any medical assistance. However, if these lesions persist, following treatment approaches may be employed:
- Pinpointing the underlying cause: It is necessary to determine the underlying cause. Identifying the source of inflammation helps in finding the most appropriate treatment option.
- Getting rid of the irritants: After determining the cause, the use of product that are causing the irritation or inflammation should be stopped at once.
- Practicing good hygiene: This can be done by:
- Changing of tampons regularly when you are having monthly menstrual cycles
- Keeping the vaginal area dry and clean
- Wearing breathable cotton underwear
- Avoiding the use of douches or scented soap around the vaginal area
- Heat therapy: A warm compress may help soothe the itching and burning sensation that may occur due to vaginal pimples.
- Avoiding popping of pimples: The pimple ruptures eventually therefore there’s no need to pop pimples by using nails or other instruments; as this can exacerbate the irritation and pain associated with the pimple.
- Medications: If the cause of pimple is an underlying infection, speak to a healthcare professional and use antibiotics.
Several other conditions may cause bumps that may appear similar to the vaginal pimples such as:
- Bartholin’s cysts: These are caused by the obstruction of Bartholin’s glands/ ducts. Total obstruction may aggravate the risk of cyst formation. The cyst does not require any treatment and are mostly painless but if they become infected, there may be pus formation and inflammation for which treatment becomes necessary.
- Skin tags: These are excessive tissue growths, which appears on the skin.
- STIs (sexually transmitted infections): The two STIS that are likely to cause vaginal bumps include:
- Genital warts: These are caused by HPV (human papillomavirus)
- Genital herpes: These are caused by HSV (herpes simplex virus)
- Vaginal varicosities: These lesions occur due to clustered or swollen veins which may appear as bumps. Cold therapy may be used to alleviate the associated discomfort.
- Fahs, B. (2014). Genital panics: Constructing the vagina in women’s qualitative narratives about pubic hair, menstrual sex, and vaginal self-image. Body image, 11(3), 210-218.