Genital acne, also known as hidradenitis suppurativa and acne inversa, is a condition that results from clogging in the apocrine glands around the groin area. Excessive heat and sweating in the groin area can leave oil, dead skin and bacteria on the skin that then blocks the apocrine glands, forming acne.
The main cause of genital acne is excessive sweating in the genital area, according to Acne Team. Tight clothing that rubs against your skin in hot weather or when you exercise can cause bacteria, dead skin and oil to accumulate in the genital area. Using harsh laundry detergents on your clothes or harsh bath soaps on your skin can also cause genital acne. Acne Team also reports that apocrine glands that fail to develop completely can make you prone to developing genital acne.
- The main cause of genital acne is excessive sweating in the genital area, according to Acne Team.
- Using harsh laundry detergents on your clothes or harsh bath soaps on your skin can also cause genital acne.
Difference From Other Acne
Acne on other parts of the body results from clogging of the sebaceous glands whereas genital acne is an inflammation of the apocrine glands, according to Acne Skin Care Guide 1. The website cautions that although the causes and treatment of both types of acne are similar, genital acne can be a symptom of a sexually transmitted disease.
Treatment for genital acne involves keeping the groin area as clean and as dry as possible to prevent the accumulation of bacteria. Acne Team recommends using hydrogen peroxide or benzoyl peroxide to cleanse the affected area. Washing the groin area can help prevent dead skin cells from contributing to the problem of genital acne. Acne Myths, Etc. recommends using an antibacterial cleanser or acne cleanser that you can find at the drug store when exfoliating the genital area. The website further suggests applying an acne treating cream to the genital acne.
- Treatment for genital acne involves keeping the groin area as clean and as dry as possible to prevent the accumulation of bacteria.
- The website further suggests applying an acne treating cream to the genital acne.
Pimple Rash Around the Neck
Wear clothing that is loose and lightweight to avoid creating excessive heat in your groin area. Acne Myths, Etc. recommends wearing underwear and pants that are made of 100 percent cotton to help prevent irritation or further development of genital acne. Acne Myths, Etc. also recommends using chemical free detergents on your clothes and washing your body using natural soap if you think harsh detergents and soap may be the cause of your genital acne.
- Wear clothing that is loose and lightweight to avoid creating excessive heat in your groin area.
- recommends wearing underwear and pants that are made of 100 percent cotton to help prevent irritation or further development of genital acne.
Consult a doctor if treatment fails to eliminate the genital acne to be certain that you do not have a sexually transmitted disease, according Acne Team. The website also suggests that there may be an infection present that requires antibiotics for proper treatment if the genital acne is excessively painful or secretes a discharge 1. Acne Skin Care Guide recommends seeing a doctor if the acne is present on the genital organs and not just the area around the genitals 1.
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- Acne Skin Care Guide: Is Genital Acne For Real?
- Kraft J, Freiman A. Management of acne. CMAJ. 2011;183(7):E430-5. doi:10.1503/cmaj.090374
- Sutaria AH, Masood S, Schlessinger J. Acne Vulgaris. [Updated 2019 Dec 13]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2019 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK459173/
- American Academy of Dermatology. WHAT CAN CLEAR SEVERE ACNE?
- Cleveland Clinic. Rosacea (Adult Acne). Last reviewed October 10, 2019.
- American Academy of Dermatology. IS SPORTS EQUIPMENT CAUSING YOUR ACNE?
- American Academy of Dermatology. I HAVE ACNE! IS IT OKAY TO WEAR MAKEUP?
- Zaenglein AL, Pathy AL, Schlosser BJ, Alikhan A, Baldwin HE, et. al. "Guidelines of Care for the Management of Acne Vulgaris." Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology; 2016. 74(5):945-73.
Chris Passas is a freelance writer from Nags Head, N.C. He graduated from East Carolina University in 2002 with a bachelor's degree in journalism. He has written online instructional articles since September 2009.