Vaginal Pimples - A to Z Explained

Pimples are small red growths that appear on the surface of the skin. They can occur on your genitals. You may be surprised to find a pimple down there. But it’s fairly common and shouldn’t be a cause for concern.

What causes a pimple to form near my vagina? 

Contact dermatitisFolliculitisHidradenitis suppurativaare common reasons for vaginal pimples. Foreign substances when touch vulva can become a good reason for vaginal pimples. Most common materials that can cause vaginal pimples are

  • Condoms or lubricant.
  • Douche applicators or fluid.
  • Feminine wipes.
  • Laundry detergent.
  • Scented bath products.
  • Semen.
  • Sweat.
  • Tampons or sanitary pads.
  • Urine.
  • Vaginal discharge.

Inflamed pubic hair follicles due to any of the following also cause vaginal pimples

  • Ingrown hairs.
  • Razor burn.
  • Shaving.
  • Tight-fitting clothes.
  • Unclean water in a bathtub, hot tub or swimming pool. 
  • Other that above Bartholin cysts occur when glands on either side of the vagina become blocked. The area becomes inflamed and pus gets collected. These also may look like big vaginal pimples.



When should I see a healthcare provider about a pimple on my genitals?You should see your healthcare provider if:

  • Genital pimples occur regularly.
  • They’re painful or large.
  • You’re concerned they are not pimples.

How is vaginal acne diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider can diagnose genital pimples after a quick examination. If the provider is concerned the pimple is something other than vaginal acne, they'll perform a more thorough assessment.

This may include:

  • Discussing your hygiene habits.
  • Checking for changes in your daily routine that may cause contact dermatitis.
  • Asking you about your sexual history.
  • Running tests to rule out a sexually transmitted infection (STI).


What types of vaginal pimple treatments might I need?

Pimples due to vaginal acne or ingrown hairs go away on their own. Other causes may need therapies that include:

  • Acne medications that reduce inflammation or the amount of oil your skin produces.
  • Antihistamines to treat allergies and other sources of inflammation.
  • Antiviral medications for viruses causing STIs.
  • Imiquimod cream, which quiets immune system responses to genital warts and molluscum contagiosum.


How can I prevent vaginal pimples?

There are steps you can take to prevent certain causes of genital pimples:

  • Avoid tight-fitting pants or underwear.
  • Choose underwear made of cotton or breathable materials.
  • Wash your genital area daily with mild soap.
  • Promptly change out of sweaty clothes.
  • Trim pubic hair instead of shaving.
  • Switch out pads and tampons regularly when you have your period.


What is the outlook for people with vaginal pimples?

Many genital pimples clear up on their own within a few days. If your treatment includes medications, it can take a few weeks for pimples to clear up.


What can I expect if the growths are not genital pimples?

Self-care methods may prevent symptom flare-ups or relieve discomfort.

For STIs

  • Mutual monogamy: You can reduce your risk of flare-ups by limiting intimacy to one person. That person should only be intimate with you as well.
  • Practicing safe sex: You should use a condom every time you have intercourse.

Self-care for short-term symptoms

  • Warm compress for pain or itching: Soak a hand towel in warm water. Wring it out before applying to your skin with gentle pressure.
  • Cool compress for swelling: This treatment is like a warm compress but with cool water.

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