What these bumps on your vagina could mean – and how to get rid of them

  • A button on your vagina could indicate genitals acne, which may require antibiotic treatment.
  • But folliculitis, ingrown hairs, and molluscum contagiosum can also lead to pimple-like bumps.
  • Vaginal lumps could also indicate an STI like genital warts or herpes.

If you think you have a pimple on your vagina, it could be something harmless, like an ingrown hair, or something more serious, like a sexually transmitted infection (STI).

Here are six different causes of lumps near your vagina and on your vulva, along with how to treat them.

1. Acne

It is possible to get acne from blocked pores all over your body, including the vulva. Like all acne, genital acne looks like tender red pimples that may or may not be filled with pus, says Alexis May Kimble, DO, medical director of the Kimble Center for Pelvic Wellness.
How to treat it: In order to get rid of acne on the vulva and keep it from coming back, Kimble says you need to keep the area clean and dry. on your face

If the acne is severe and recurring, your doctor may need to prescribe antibiotics. Kimble says you should avoid topical acne treatments like benzoyl peroxide, which are too harsh on this sensitive area.

2. Ingrown hairs

Ingrown hairs occur when a hair grows back into the skin. They often present as red, painful bumps.


If you shave or pluck your pubic hair, this can put you at a higher risk for ingrown hairs, explains Kimble.

How to treat it: Kimble says you should avoid other hair removal techniques until the area is completely healed. In the meantime, she says you should keep the area clean and soothe the skin with a warm compress such as a washcloth soaked in hot water – but not so hot that it is uncomfortable on the skin. Then gently exfoliate with a scrub (you can opt for the ones specifically for the bikini area).

3. Folliculitis

Folliculitis occurs when an ingrown hair is trapped and inflamed, explains Peace Nwegbo-Banks MD, FACOG, OB / GYN certified by the board of directors of Serenity Women’s Health and Med Spa.

In addition to a swollen lump, you may experience redness, swelling, and tenderness. Usually, this is caused by infection with bacteria or fungus.

How to treat it: Depending on the type of infection, you may need a prescription antibiotic, antibacterial cream, or antifungal cream to treat your folliculitis. In more severe cases, oral antibiotics, prescribed by your doctor, may be necessary.

4. Molluscum contagiosum

Molluscum contagiosum is a viral infection resulting in small, painless, flesh-colored bumps that usually have a dimple in the middle, says Nwegbo-Banks. If they are irritated, they can become irritated, red and inflamed.

How to treat it: Molluscum contagiosum may go away on its own in three to six months, Kimble says.

However, treatment options require a visit to the doctor and include:

  • Cryotherapy (freezing lesions)
  • Curettage (scraping of lesions)
  • Laser therapy
  • Topical prescription creams

Important: Molluscum contagiosum is contagious and can be spread through skin-to-skin contact, sex, or shared clothing. If you think you have this condition, avoid touching others.

5. Genital warts

Genital warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV).

They range from small bumps to large, flesh-colored lesions, Kimble explains. Warts often resemble cauliflower and are accompanied by itching and pain.

How to treat it: Warts can go away on their own, but you should avoid having sex if you have a genital wart so you don’t spread the infection.

If the warts are causing you discomfort or will not go away, you can look for treatment options such as:

  • Prescription creams
  • Cryotherapy (freezing warts)
  • Electrocautery (burning warts with an electric current)
  • Excision (surgery to cut warts)
  • Laser therapy

6. Herpes

Genital herpes is caused by the herpes simplex virus, type 1 (HSV-1) or type 2 (HSV-2). Herpes sores may appear as a blister or a cluster of blisters, and they may ooze fluid. There will be symptoms such as:

  • Discomfort
  • tingling
  • itching
  • Pain
  • Burning

How to treat it: There is no cure for herpes, but you can take antiviral drugs that can shorten the duration of the herpes outbreak and prevent outbreaks from recurring in the future. Additionally, Kimble says you should avoid having sex during an active herpes outbreak to avoid giving it to your partner.

Insider takeaways

If you have a lump on your vulva that is worrying you, don’t hesitate to visit your obstetrician / gynecologist to have it examined.

Chances are, it’s something super harmless, like a pimple or ingrown hair, but in the event that it’s something more serious, you want to make sure you get the proper treatment as soon as possible so so that you can start to feel better.

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