Pimple-like structures may grow in the vaginal area, but unlike facial pimples, they sting and can be very painful. There are several causes of vaginal pimples and the etiology must be identified in order to receive the appropriate treatment .
White papules or pimples may be found accidentally in the vaginal area and this may cause undue stress to the individual. These may come in the form of blackheads, whiteheads or pus-filled acne and may spread to the vaginal opening, butt cheeks and inner thigh. This area of the vagina is very sensitive and the presence of pimples may cause extreme pain or discomfort when sitting down [2, 3, 4].
Causes of Vaginal Pimples
As mentioned before, there are several possible causes to the occurrence of a vaginal pimple. Although some of these are not serious, others should be treated promptly because they can possibly lead to complications .
This is the most common cause of vaginal pimple to women who regularly wax or shave their pubic hair. Ingrown hair occurs when the sharp tip of a growing hair follicle grow sideways or curl backwards into the skin. To prevent ingrown hair from occurring, ensure to observe proper hair removal techniques. This practice includes using of shaving creams and shaving according to the hair growth direction. Ingrown hairs heals by themselves and do not require any treatment. Intervention would only be required if they become infected and become red and sore .
Changes in hormone levels may cause pimple breakout in the vagina of some women. This event usually happen right before a menstrual period or if the woman is pregnant. These pimples disappear after a few days without any treatment [2, 3].
Sexually Transmitted Infections
The presence of STIs such as genital herpes may cause pimple growth as one of its symptoms. It may start as a sore spot that will eventually turn into a blister or a group of blisters if they do not receive any treatment [1, 2, 3].
Wearing tight underwear that is not made up of absorbent material may cause vaginal pimple growth. This type of underwear traps the moisture in the pubic region and makes it a suitable environment for pimple growth due to the proliferation of bacteria [2, 3].
Signs and symptoms of Vaginal Pimples
Vaginal pimples that are not caused by a STI usually do not appear with other symptoms. If the pimples are due to an infection, the patient may also experience vaginal discharge, itching, swelling, redness and burning sensation during urination [1, 2].
Diagnosis of Vaginal Pimples
Health history and physical examination
When the patient consults a physician due to the vaginal pimples, a sexual history may be included in the assessment to consider the possibility of a STI. Information about the pimples such as the regularity of their occurrence and their resolution will also be asked to by the physician. This will be followed by a pelvic examination to inspect the pimples. The physical appearance and presence of pus will be noted by the physician [2, 3].
If a STI is being suspected, a culture examination may be requested to confirm or rule out the diagnosis. A sample of the pus obtained from the pimples will be placed into a culture medium to identify the pathogen. The patient is advised to avoid douching or using any vaginal product for 24 hours before the test to avoid getting a false result .
Treatment of Vaginal Pimples
Once the cause of the pimples have been identified, the physician will be able to advice the appropriate course of treatment [1, 2].
The presence of STIs require an antibiotic treatment. The patient should complete the entire course of the treatment even if the symptoms have already dissipated. This will ensure that the infection is treated and the pathogen will not develop any resistance to the antibiotic that was used [1, 5].
Lifestyle modifications and preventive measures
Vaginal pimples that are caused by changes in the hormonal level usually resolves themselves and it is best to them alone to prevent infection. If these pimples are have become irritated, applying a warm, moist towel will help soothe the area [2, 3].
A good female hygiene is also important to stop pimple development. Feminine wash or antibacterial soaps should be used to kill the bacteria that may be in the vagina. Wearing clean and cotton underwear will allow the skin in the vaginal area to breathe freely and would not trap any moisture [2, 3].
- Buddy MD. (2015). Vaginal Pimples or Bumps- How Do They Look and Treated? Retrieved from Buddy MD: http://buddymd.com/vaginal-pimples-or-bumps-how-do-they-look-and-treated
- New Health Advisor. (2014). Pimple on Vaginal Lip. Retrieved from New Health Advisor: http://www.newhealthadvisor.com/Pimple-on-Vaginal-Lip.html
- Vaginal Health Guide Remedy. (2015). Vaginal Pimples, Acne and Bumps. Retrieved from Vaginal Pimples, Acne and Bumps: http://www.vaginal-health-guide-remedy.com/vaginal-pimples.html
- (2016, April 16). What Causes White Pimples on the Vagina? Retrieved from MedGuidance: http://www.medguidance.com/thread/White-Pimple-on-Vagina.html
- org. (2014). Vaginal Bumps and Vaginal Pimples. Retrieved from Healcure.org: http://www.healcure.org/womens-health/vagina/vaginal-bumps-and-vaginal-pimples/
- (2015). Endocervix Culture. Retrieved from Healthline: http://www.healthline.com/health/culture-endocervix#Overview1