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Discovering lumps, bumps or cysts on the labia, or vulva is a very common concern for many women; so please do not panic. There are several causes for lumps, pimples, and bumps in the female genitalia. The good news is that most are NOT STDs, are NOT contagious, and are NOT life threatening.

Common Causes

Lumps, pimples, cysts, and bumps that are painful or not to the touch, inside of the labia and under the skin on the vulva, near or in the urethra and in or around the genital area usually develop as a result of conditions including but not limited to:

Bartholin Cysts: Very often present and start on the sides of the lower part of the labia majora, on the outer area of the vagina. The cysts can grow very rapidly and can get very large. They tend to be also quite painful, and can be treated with drainage by a doctor and warm sitz baths at home can be very soothing as well.

Clogged or Blocked Sweat Glands: These can present anywhere, including the genitalia. The condition "Hidradenitis Suppurativa" - usually causes in many cases, extremely painful clogged sweat glands that become infected, leaving hardened scars, which usually need painkillers and antibiotics to treat.

Folliculitis: A condition of blocked hair follicles, and is a very common reason for lumps and bumps in females and males. Oftentimes, the bumps become quite tender, red and can become infected very quickly, requiring antibiotics, drainage and very careful wound care.

Fox Fordyce: This condition presents much clogged sweat glands which are not usually painful or tender, and in their worse cases can be treated with steroid (cortisol) creams and other more special treatments.

Skene's Duct Cysts: Usually present where we least need them to (where we urinate) on the sides of the urethra. The best treatment for these are usually warm compresses, unless of course they are again-debilitating and very large, in which cases they are best treated by a doctor who will most likely drain then after making a tiny incision ti facilitate the process.


As tempting as this can be, do NOT attempt to do so on your own, or try squeezing them. This is a perfect introduction for bacterial infection. This is not something you need while you are already dealing with this condition.

That said however, bumps and cysts can occur anywhere on the body. Mostly, they are often formed from blocked skin glands. When this happen, they present and look like lumps, tiny or even large pimples or bumps.

Please arrange to see your doctor or gynecologist as soon as possible. Especially if they are large, and debilitating; where they make it difficult for you to walk, urinate, have intercourse, or prevent you from accomplishing routine daily activities. Your doctor will discuss your options based on the severity and cause of the condition.

Other mostly viral conditions for painful pimples, fleshy bumps, 'bumpy tags,' could also be STDs such as: Genital herpes, subtypes 6 or 11 infections of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) , that is responsible for genital warts, Molluscum Contagiosum, and a host of other causes for pimples, lesions, bumps, cysts, and lumps.

Prevention and protection against all the above is always the best.

They can all be treated effectively. Remember, never try to guess. If and when in doubt-at the first sight of anything abnormal-do not hesitate to call and make an appointment or go immediately to see your doctor to be checked out.

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