There’s nothing worse than having pimples on the vagina. They are painful, itchy and sting like hell. I mean it’s the worst feeling ever and trust me you wouldn’t wish them even on your worst enemy. Just like you can get pimples or acne on the face, you can get vaginal acne.
- Red bumps with purse
- blackheads on groin area
- whiteheads on the vagina
- acne on the vagina
- itchiness and tenderness on the vagina lips
The main reason why you get pimples on the vagina is due to clogged ducts. The vaginal region is rich in different secretory glands. The Bartholin glands, for example, line the lower part of the vaginal canal. They help keep the area moist and lubricated. When either of these glands gets clogged, secretions collect in the gland causing a swell up that develops into a pimple on the skin.
Other causes of zits in the vagina include:
This is a type of eczema caused by irritation of the skin through contact. Most of the vaginal pimple cases are caused by contact dermatitis. Common irritants to the genital area that contribute to vaginal pimples include:
- hygiene products like powders, deodorants and lotions
- fragranced shower washes and soaps including bubble baths with fragrances
- condoms, lubricants, sexual stimulants and spermicides
- medicated lotions and gels
- laundry detergents
- scented sanitary pads and tampons
- over the counter medications
- vaginal discharge
All this irritate the skin causing pimples.
Folliculitis is an inflammation or infection of hair follicles. The infection is caused by bacteria in the hair follicles which leads to pimples in the vagina. A hair follicle is the cavity from which hair usually grows. Each hair on the body usually grows out of its own follicle. Some of the reasons that lead to folliculitis include:
- ingrown hairs
- blocked follicles
- follicles irritated by products or sweat
- wearing clothes that rub or irritate the skin or wearing tight cloths
- bathing in an unclean swimming pool or hot tub
- infected wounds or cuts (caused by shaving) that let bacteria to spread to the follicles
Pimples on the vagina after shaving appear as:
- razor burns
It’s also referred to as Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS). It’s a chronic disease that affects sweat glands. This inflammatory skin disease affects the groin area. It can also appear under the breasts.
Some of its symptoms include recurrent sores and spots containing pus. These spots do not heal quickly and leave scars. The Hidradenitis Suppurativa Foundation estimates that 4 percent of the population is affected by this disease.
This is a viral infection characterized by the appearance of lesions anywhere on the body, which includes the vaginal area. The Mollusca growths are small, raised flesh colored or white growths. They may appear as pears with a dimple at the center. They are firm and smooth and range from a pinhead size to pencil eraser size. This is around 2 to 5 millimeters diameter wise. They could get sore, swollen, red or itchy.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), says that the Moluscum contagiosum resolves within 6-12 months without scarring but it may also take 4 years to heal.
Vaginal cysts occur on the vulva and are often caused by a blocked skin gland. They look like lumps or pimples under the skin. The most common genital cysts occur in women and are referred to as skene’s duct cysts. These are glands found where urine comes out( on either side of a woman’s urethra). They are painful especially if they grow large and cause pain during urination.
Most of the time, vaginal pimples, whether on the lips or inside, clear on their own. The first step however, before you can treat vaginal pimples is to find out the cause. This will help in deciding the correct treatment for the pimples. Note the occurrence and products, activities or factors that cause the break outs.
- You can treat vaginal pimples using tropical medications or antihistamines in case of severe allergies.
- Contact dermatitis needs you to determine what product or activity is leading to the vaginal pimples. Stop using the said products and reintroduce them one at a time so as to discover which one causes the break outs on your vagina.
- Molluscum contagiosum treatment is recommended when lesions are found on the genital area (near the vulva, vagina, penis or anus). This is because they may lead to the spread of other diseases through sexual contact. Avoid treatments suggested on the internet and visit a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
The molluscum contagiosum can be treated through physical removal too. This could include:
- Topical or oral medication prescribed by a doctor.
- piercing of the lesion core and scraping off the cheesy or caseous material (curettage),
- freezing of the lesions using liquid nitrogen (cryotherapy)
- laser therapy
These procedures required a trained professional and may require anesthesia. They may result in irritation, pain or scarring after procedure.
Do not try to pop the pimples on the vagina yourself or drain them off liquid. This is because you could unintentionally spread it to others or to other parts of your body. You could also cause bacterial infections.
- Ingrown hair pimples mostly clear on their own. Early treatment of HS keeps it from getting worse.
Some other bumps and lumps appear on the vagina that look like pimples. These could be warts or other growths like:
- Genital herpes: these are lesions that look like pimples. They appear as bumps on the vagina, vulva and anus. They are tender painful sores that resemble bug bites and appear in clusters. They then turn into blisters in a few days and can heal without scars. Treatment includes pain and antiviral medications.
- Genital warts: these are caused by an STD known as Human Papillomavirus (HPV). Infections with these some types of HPV cause genital warts. These have a cauliflower appearance. They can easily spread and are rough to the touch. Topical medications can be applied at home. The warts can also be freezed off by your doctor.
- Skin tags: these are small irregular shaped growths of normal skin occurring on the vulva. The National Institutes of Health suggest that they can be removed surgically, freezed or burned by a doctor.
- Vaginal varicosities: Are blue in color and occur as women age. They appear on the vagina and vulva. They are usually swollen veins and can be tender or bleed. Cool compresses help reduce the discomfort they cause.
- Bartholin gland cysts: According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Bartholin Glands are located under on either side of the vagina opening. The Bartholin glands produce a lubricating fluid during intercourse. If they get blocked, cysts form and cause a swollen bump on the vagina opening. These Bartholin gland cysts only get when infected. If an infection happens an abscess forms.
There are other causes of itchy vaginal bumps. Some are minor and require no treatment or limited treatment. Others are caused by STDs or infections that need medical treatment by a professional. If you discover a bump, get it checked by a doctor.
- Keep the vagina and vulva clean. Do not use harsh soaps or detergents because they alter the PH of the vagina and make it vulnerable to opportunistic bacteria and fungi. Wash the vagina with mild unperfumed soap and warm water.
- Wear cotton panties that are not tight. Cotton panties that are loose and comfortable allow the skin to breathe. Other fabrics soak the sweat, moisture and aid in pimple formation. Regularly change the panty too.
- Soak the vaginal pimples in warm water or use a warm compress. Soak a clean towel in warm water, squeeze out the water and place it on the infected area, repeat several times a day. Dry the area thoroughly before you dress to avoid inhibiting the growth of bacteria.
- Change sanitary towels and tampons regularly.
- Do not pop or squeeze the vaginal pimples since this could cause deep skin infections or spread of bacteria.
- Immediately you discover the pimples are infected (become itchy and painful), use topical antibiotics and arrest their growth to limit the spread of the infection.
- Stop using products that cause irritation or infections.
- Shave using a new blade or disinfect the old one before use.
- Shave in the direction of hair growth
- Use clean hot tubs and swimming pools. Pools should also be treated and one should take a shower after swimming.
- Use only medication prescribed by a qualified doctor
- Hidradenitis Suppurativa Foundation: What is Hidradenitis Suppurativa?
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Molluscum Contagiosum
- The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: Disorders of the Vulva: Common Causes of Vulvar Pain, Burning, and Itching
- National Library of Medicine: Skin tag