If you notice bumps and redness on the skin around your vagina, your first thoughts are most likely going to be about an STD. However, though these signs are very similar to symptoms exhibited by STDs, this can be caused by a triggered by a number of factors. Hence, it is important to consult a gynaecologist to confirm a diagnosis if you notice such abnormalities. Some of the causes for this condition are:
- Vaginal acne: Just like the rest of your body, the skin around your vagina can also be susceptible to pimples and acne. These pimples are very similar to those found in other parts of the body. Vaginal acne usually develops as a natural reaction to the use of harsh soaps and chemicals, shaving, douching or if you do not keep the area clean. Excessive productions of natural oils or sweat can also trigger a vaginal acne flare up. Wearing dry cotton underwear and keeping the area clean should help resolve this condition.
- Ingrown hairs: Sometimes, hair grows sideways or curls up below the skin instead of exiting it. This may be triggered by shaving or other forms of hair removal where due to its short length, the hair gets trapped under the surface of the skin. Dead skin can also clog a hair follicle and cause ingrown hair. This condition usually resolves itself. To lower the chances of ingrowths; try exfoliating your skin gently or switching to another method of hair removal.
- Folliculitis: This condition is caused by the inflammation of hair follicles that leads to a bacterial or fungal infection. It usually starts out as small red bumps which later develop into crusty sores. This inflammation may be the result of excessive sweat production or friction. It usually heals itself in approximately 2 weeks. The healing process can be speeded up by applying a warm compress on the area or by soaking the area in a salt water solution. In some cases, antibiotics or anti-fungal medication may be required.
- Eczema: This may be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. As such, there is no cure for the condition but it may be managed with the use of topical corticosteroids. Aloe vera may also be helpful in reducing the itchiness and inflammation.
- Molluscum contagiosum: This is a viral infection that spreads through skin to skin contact and appears in the form of smooth round bumps that vary in size and are firm to touch. These bumps usually resolve themselves but the process can take a few months. Treatment with dry ice and topical creams can speed up the process. In some cases, laser therapy may also be used.
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