Pimples on the genital area can be alarming and scary, not to mention itchy and irritating. Many people immediately think that they have a sexually transmitted disease if they develop pimples on the genital area, but there are several causes for genital area breakouts. Some causes can be fixed with at-home remedies, some pimples will go away with time and others will require a visit to the doctor.
Inflammation from Hair Removal
Inflammation in the genital area usually occurs as a result of shaving or waxing, which irritates the hair follicles and causes skin to raise in spots. Pimples develop when the skin is shaved and oil or other residue from shaving products remains on the skin, irritating the skin. These pimples usually go away after a few days. If the irritation last longer than a week, it is most likely an ingrown hair and will subside within a few weeks.
- Inflammation in the genital area usually occurs as a result of shaving or waxing, which irritates the hair follicles and causes skin to raise in spots.
Remedies for Vaginal Pimples
Hidradenitis suppurativa is genital acne caused by the glands in the groin area becoming clogged with oil or other contaminants. This excess oil inflames the surrounding skin and causes pimples to develop. This condition is treated with antibiotics or, in severe cases, incisions to drain the area of the contaminants.
Infection in the genital area is most often caused by the molluscum contagiosum bacteria. Pimples that occur as a result of this infection are usually filled with white balls that look like pearls. This infection is highly contagious and will go away by itself but can take between a few months to a couple of years. A doctors can prescribe a cream to speed recovery or can remove the infection by freezing the pimples.
- Infection in the genital area is most often caused by the molluscum contagiosum bacteria.
- Pimples that occur as a result of this infection are usually filled with white balls that look like pearls.
Pimples often appear around the genital area as a result of friction from clothing that rubs too frequently on the area or clothing that is too tight. Heavy sweat collecting in the area can cause aggravate friction and inflammation in the area, resulting in a rash known as "jock itch." This rash causes red, inflamed skin to appear around pimples that usually look like whiteheads.
Sexually Transmitted Disease
There are numerous STDs that cause bumps, warts, sores or pimples to appear around the genital area. The only STD that causes actual pimples, instead of sores or other lesions, is chancroid. Chancroid causes one large pus-filled pimple to appear in the genital region. This pimple eventually opens up and turns into a large sore. The sore can occasionally go away on its own, but usually requires antibiotics.
- There are numerous STDs that cause bumps, warts, sores or pimples to appear around the genital area.
- The only STD that causes actual pimples, instead of sores or other lesions, is chancroid.
Remedies for Vaginal Pimples
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- InformedHealth.org. Acne: Overview. Updated January 16, 2013.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Molluscum contagiosum. Updated May 11, 2015.
- Stamm AW, Kobashi KC, Stefanovic KB. Urologic dermatology: A review. Curr Urol Rep. 2017;18(8):62. doi:10.1007/s11934-017-0712-9.
- Margesson LJ, Haefner, HK. Vulvar lesions: Differential diagnosis based on morphology. UpToDate. Updated April 8, 2019.
- Sagransky M, Yentzer BA, Feldman SR. Benzoyl peroxide: a review of its current use in the treatment of acne vulgaris. Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2009;10(15):2555-62.
Chelsea Day started writing professionally in 2005 and has been featured in publications such as "Beverly Hills 90210" and "The Travel Magazine." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from University of California, Los Angeles and runs the popular lifestyle blog Someday I'll Learn.