Bumps, pimples or whiteheads on the female genitalia can be a result of a number of factors. Unfortunately, the condition is an annoying, but very common one. They do not typically indicate something bad, such as sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and are usually not contagious or life-threatening. However, if you notice whiteheads, bumps, cysts or pimples on your genitalia, immediately book an appointment to see your doctor rather than stressing out.
Types of Cysts and What Causes Them
Pimples, cysts, and bumps are more common than most would imagine. They also show up in other areas of the body. However, when they show up on the female (or male) genitalia, in most cases it is due to a blocked skin gland somewhere close to the areas they present.
There are different types of cysts that are more common to this condition:
- Bartholin cysts are usually larger in size; they grow faster, and can be more painful. They tend to show up mainly on the lower portion on either sides of the vagina or labia majora.
- Skene's duct cysts are usually smaller. They are usually not as painful. However, since they tend to appear close to where you urinate (on the sides of the urethra), if they are somehow squeezed or they erupt, they can be painful or burn from the acidity of the urine.
Sweat glands can be found in many different areas of the body. One such area is the genital area. The condition Hidradenitis Suppurativa causes sweat glands to become clogged. Depending on the extent of the clogging, and the care that is taken, when this happens, unpleasant things that could happen include but not limited to: painful cysts, infection, and very bumpy, hard, scarred skin tissue.
Another similar condition, happens when hair follicles become blocked. The blocked follicles can become very red, irritated, and painful. This condition is usually referred to as folliculitis, and is very common in both genders. The condition is from the blocked follicles and is usually the most common cause of pimple-like cysts or bumps in the genital area.
Other culprits include but are not limited to: Genital herpes-an STD, that is usually itchy, causes burning and painfully raw lesions that start as sore spots resembling bug bites, but progresses over a few days to a blister or group of blisters and then an open ulcer. Treatment includes antiviral medications and pain meds.
Infection with subtypes 6 or 11 of the human papilloma virus (HPV) that can cause genital warts, could also be a cause. HPV is a sexually transmitted disease, too. These "bumps" have a cauliflower like appearance. Molluscum contagiosum, another viral infection causes small, fleshy bumps on the vulva with a central indentation.
Treatment of Female Genital Bumps, Pimples Or Cysts
Treatment includes warm sitz baths and incision and drainage if needed. One can self-treat these with warm compresses, or if large, it can be opened up by doctor. If they are large, painful and are very uncomfortable no doubt, your doctor will be able to drain it via a small incision or prick.
Words of Caution
It is never recommended that you pop or squeeze pimples on your face. Similarly, it is a bad idea to do so in your genital area. The very last thing you need is the added discomfort and potential serious complications from bacterial infection. Serious infections will require antibiotics and in many cases, even incisions and drainage to treat the cystic area or pimple, which tend to leave hardened scar tissue damage.
All things considered, there are a multitude of other causes of female genital bumps. Most are minor and require limited or little treatment, but others could be STDs! Therefore, if you discover any of the above-mentioned conditions, be sure to get checked out by your doctor! Be well, and play it safe.
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