“Doctor, I’ve got a pimple down there and it’s painful!”
“Ok, did you shave your vagina?”
“Yes, I did.”
That’s how patients come to us most of the time.
So what is vulvar acne or pimple on the vagina?
Vulvar acne is a common condition like acne on any other parts of the body. However, it can be very painful and causes discomfort to women. Some common causes include:
- Folliculitis :
Folliculitis is an infection of the hair follicle. When the hair grows out of the follicle it curls inward and grows into the skin which causes irritation and infection. It is usually caused by shaving, waxing, wearing tight undergarments, friction and humid weather.
- Contact dermatitis:
These days the market is flooded with many scented products which are impregnated with chemicals. These chemicals can irritate the vulva and produce inflammation and infection.
- Molluscum contagiosum:
This is a viral infection that can cause lesions anywhere on the body including the genital area. The lesions appear as small pink blebs with a pit in the centre and can become itchy red and swollen. It usually resolves by itself without any scarring within a period of 6 months to 1 year.
- Hidradenitis suppurativa:
It is a painful chronic skin condition that causes multiple abscess and scarring on the skin. It causes a mixture of boil like lumps, blackheads, cysts, scarring, and channels in the skin that leak pus. They tend to occur again and again, and need constant management.
What can you do to prevent this ?
- Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothing that can cause friction
- Choose underwear made of cotton rather than synthetic materials
- Avoid bubble baths and scented soaps
- Wash your vaginal area with a pH- balanced intimate wash.
- Trim your pubic hair with scissors rather than shaving
- If you still choose to shave your public hair, go with the angle of your hair, in a downward slant
- Do not touch the affected area too much
- Wear panty liners to absorb excess discharge
- If you find anything out of the ordinary, meet your doctor
Vulvar acne or a pimple on the vagina is as common as any problem and like every problem it has several solutions. The best part is some of the solutions lie in your hand – a little cleanliness and some help does the trick.