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There are many skin conditions that can cause bumps or rashes in the pubic, genital or groin area. Not all of these are infectious in nature, and treatments for these may vary. It is important to pay attention to the signs and symptoms associated with the skin lesions and to consult a doctor for proper treatment if simple home remedies do not relieve your symptoms.

Possible Causes

  • Eczema. This common skin condition causes itchy, red patches of skin that may start out as a rash that develops into blisters. Skin dryness, scaling and itching are common. This is not contagious, but symptoms may come and go. It is not a serious condition and it often gets better with simple home remedies. Although it is more common in young children, adults can have it, too. Eczema can affect any part of the body, but more commonly in areas where skin folds occur, such as the front of the elbow, back of the knees, and the hands. Treatment consists of topical steroids and skin moisturizers to relieve itching.

  • Allergic contact dermatitis. This is a local hypersensitivity reaction that can occur after being exposed to certain chemicals found in clothes, jewelry, or skin care products. Pink to red bumps or rashes may appear, which may develop into blisters. It is not contagious and may improve when exposure to the offending agent is avoided. Topical steroids and antihistamines may help reduce itching and inflammation.

  • Folliculitis. Infection and inflammation of the hair follicles can result in the appearance of bumps in the skin. Possible causes include wearing tight clothing, excessive sweating, injury to the skin. Pus formation, pain and tenderness occur. Treatment includes cleaning the area with an antibacterial soap and application of topical antibiotic.

  • Jock itch or tinea cruris. This is a fungal infection of the skin in the groin. It is common among athletes and men who wear tight jeans, share clothes, and those who are overweight or have diabetes. Itchy, red patches with scaly edges are found in the groin and thighs, but not in the genitals. Treatment consists of antifungal creams and using loose fitting, cotton clothing.

  • Scabies. This infectious skin condition is caused by mites, which burrow into the skin, producing pink and red bumps, that look like bug bites or pimples, sometimes with a scab. The small burrow, which appears as a small, scaly line may be difficult to see. The skin is intensely itchy, especially at night. Constant scratching can cause infection with bacteria. Treatment consists of prescribed medicated lotions and creams, such as permethrin 5% cream, crotamiton 10% lotion/cream, or precipitated sulfur.

  • Psoriasis. This is a noncontagious, chronic skin condition that causes thickened, red, scaly patches on the skin. It tends to run in families, but it may be triggered by emotional stress, infection, injury to the skin, and certain medications. Areas that are commonly affected are the scalp, elbows, knees, back, and buttocks. There is no cure for psoriasis, but treatment may include the use of skin moisturizers, Hydrocortisone cream, and skin products with salicylic acid.

  • Molluscum contagiosum. This common skin condition causes small, painless, dome-shaped bumps on the skin. It is caused by a viral infection that can spread through sexual contact or by indirect contact with towels or clothing. Warm, moist climate and poor hygiene increases the risk of spread. Scratching should be avoided to prevent spread of infection. No treatment is necessary for mild cases, but for severe cases, a prescription cream with tretinoin or imiquimod may be used.

  • Sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Skin bumps, blister, and sores in the pubic, groin, or genital area may be due to STIs, which may include genital warts (caused by human papillomavirus), genital herpes (caused by herpes simplex virus), and pubic lice. These may be the first symptoms of STI, and it is advisable not to have sexual contact or until you are evaluated by your doctor. STIs may or may not be accompanied by symptoms such as vaginal or penile discharge, pain, fever, or muscle ache.

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