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The Bad, the Good, and the Ugly

Pimples and bumps on the female genitalia can be as a result of a number of factors, and is unfortunately, a very common concern and annoyance. The good news is: Pimples, bumps or cysts do not always indicate something bad. Some conditions can disappear on their own over several days or week or so.

That said however: The bad side of this is: In some cases, your condition could indicate something more serious.

Possibilities are many; you could have a STD, or other serious conditions. As such, if you notice bumps, cysts, pimples in your genital areas, immediately book an appointment to see your doctor rather than guessing, and stressing out. If it is a viral condition, the stress will only exacerbate the situation anyhow.

Types of Cysts and Causes

Pimples, cysts, and bumps are more common than many would imagine, and can show up in any other areas of the body. However, when they show up on the female (or male) genitalia, it is usually because there is a blocked skin gland somewhere close to the areas they present. There are different types of cysts that are more common to this condition include but are not limited to:

Two very common STDs can also produce bumps, cysts, lesions, pimples, blisters and sores. The first is the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) causes genital warts. They are often small rough cauliflower- shaped looking bumps. Very contagious and so they do spread.

The second-Genital Herpes; can cause cysts and itchy lesions, or open sores which can be very painful and burn especially after urinating. The lesions typically start off as very tender to the touch spots that gradually turn into blisters, and over several days, very painful, itchy, open ulcer-like sores. Common treatment for such lesions includes painkillers and antiviral medications such as Zovirax.

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 somehow, 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.

Molluscum contagiosum (MC) can cause tiny, but fleshy bumps that appear as tiny pearl-colored indentations or cysts on the vulva. Usually this type of viral infection tends to go away without treatment.

Skin tags can also cause cysts-like bumps, especially since they produce skin growths that are fleshy and irregular shaped. While skin tags tend to appear in more visible areas of the body, they can also appear on the vulva. Skin tags are fleshy irregular shaped growths of normal skin that can occur on the vulva or elsewhere on the body.


Depending on the condition, your doctor can recommend at-home treatments such as: warm seltzer/ sitz baths, and warm compresses. More serious and delicate conditions and infections may require incision for drainage performed by your doctor, who will also prescribe antibiotics or anti-viral medications where necessary.

Words of Caution

Much like the reason it is recommended to NOT squeeze pimples on your face; it is a bad idea to try squeezing genital bumps and pimples. The very last thing you need is the added discomfort and potential serious complications from bacterial infection.

Additionally, you cannot figure out the cause until you have seen a medical doctor. So although your condition could be something minor, it could also indicate a major problem. Please do not self-treat. If you discover a "bump," "pimple," "cyst," or "lesion;"-Take no chances. See your doctor! Be well, and as always; play it safe.

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