For some, the undercarriage is a “no go zone”. Many seldom get to look at what is happening down there. Yet, to be commended is a practice that gets you acquainted with every part of the body, including the vulva. It is easier to identify an anormally when you know what normal is like. It is a safety practice rather than just aesthetics…oops!
Well… the reasons are obvious, anomalies happen, every now and then. But anomalies may also be an early sign that one should seek medical care. Pimples, bumps and lumps and every other thing in between the legs can speak of many things except normal. The best way to deal with this is to identify the abnormal lesions early enough for attention. What a better way to do this by understanding your vulvar landscape?
Again, this is an important matter to talk about. It is recommended that you do regular checkups around your vulva for lumps and bumps. The following are the reasons why;
Lumps and Bumps might be an indication that you have a sexually transmitted infection…
STIs manifest themselves through a score of symptoms. For some, bumps, lesions, lumps or pimples appear around the vulva as symptoms. Little itchy blue dots around the vulva are an indication of the undercarriage being infested by pubic lice (crabs). The itch comes on a little later as a result of the small wounds caused by the bites from the lice becoming septic.
Itchy bumps (blister-like) are also an early sign that one is affected and infected by both types (simplex virus 1 and virus 2) of the HErpes virus. In fact, Herpes diagnosis takes a swab of those little bump-like blisters which develop 2 to 20 days after infection before becoming dormant for weeks and sometimes several years.
Genital warts, on the other hand, show up as skin-coloured or whitish bumps around the vulva and anus. Most cases of genital warts are caused by two types of HPV — HPV 6 and 11 which are irritatingly itchy, but usually, don’t hurt.
Molluscum contagiosum is little known, a viral infection common in women in their early 20s and sexually active. It is also highly contagious. It presents itself as sprinkles of little bumps on the entire vulvar surface and then disappears on their own.
A ‘syphilis sore’ is a bump-like blister or chancre sore that also develops around the vulva. It is firm, round and painless. It is usually an isolated sore but an early symptom of Syphyllis, a dangerous bacterial infection that is transmitted sexually.
Lumps and bumps might also be an indication of ingrown hairs…
We are not going to talk about private matters, like how often you shave pubic hair, but we might influence your routine. How often you go down there with, what you use to shave (again), might be a factor for bumps and pimples. The vulva may fall prey to ingrown hair. Sometimes the pimples and bumps that result are very painful. Squeezing, tweezing, poking or prodding the little bumps may actually make it worse and lead to infection of the ingrown hair.
Cysts may also develop around the vagina causing painful bumps.
Other conditions that might present themselves early as pimples…
- Bacterial vaginosis caused by bacterial overgrowth and an imbalanced pH in the vagina
- Eczema or psoriasis appearing in the crevices of arms, in folds, the groin area, and on the labia, and psoriasis can also present on the vagina
- Contact Dermatitis of the vagina
- Yeast infections
- Lichen sclerosus, a patchy white rash that causes intense itching and often pops up in the vagina and can often mimic vulvar cancer.
- Urinary tract infections
There are a number of home treatments that can be used to manage rashes, red bumps, or itching around your vulva. However immediate medical attention should be sought if no improvements are recorded in a few days
How to relieve discomfort
- Do NOT squeeze pimples
- Stop shaving for a while
- Soak in a warm tub or take a shower and let the warm water spray your pubic area
- Pat the skin (don’t rub) with a soft towel or use a hair dryer on the low or cool setting
- Apply lotion (fragrance-free)
Contact your doctor if you don’t have any relief within a couple of days or the bumps get bigger or your skin is red or itchy. Your doctor may tell you to use a topical over-the-counter antibiotic such as Bacitracin® and/or hydrocortisone cream or give you a prescription medicine.