What’s That? Pimple on Vaginal Lip
Our bodies are full of surprises, this is especially true for our netherregions. Between yeast infections, urinary tract infections, and period pain, we have a lot to navigate when it comes to our reproductive health. So it can be jolting when new surprises seem to pop up literally overnight. That’s certainly the case when you see what might be a pimple on your vaginal lip, also known as your labia. A million things might be running through your head when you see a new growth on your genitals. Let’s get to the bottom of what’s going on here!
Can You Really Get a Pimple on Your Vaginal Lip?
Pimples are simply clogged or inflamed pores at your hair follicles. This often happens when too much sebum is produced or excess bacteria clogs the pore. As you’re well aware, your labia are covered with hair follicles making them prime real estate for foreign invaders, aka pimples. So yes, the short answer is, you can absolutely get pimples on your labia. Acne is extremely common for people of all ages, especially in your younger years. So of course it makes sense that it could happen anywhere on your body. Pimples that occur on your vulva and labia are called vaginal acne. These pimples are typically smaller and raised and they might have a whitehead or tip because they’re full of puss. They also might be tender to the touch.
What Causes a Pimple on Vaginal Lip?
You might usually associate pimples with being on your face or even on your back. So what causes pimples on your labia or vulva? There are a few different potential causes. One potential cause is folliculitis, which is when a hair follicle becomes infected or inflamed. This can sometimes happen thanks to clothes or underwear that are too tight, being in unclean water, or issues with shaving like razor burn or ingrown hairs.
Pimple-like bumps can also pop up from contact dermatitis which is a reaction to materials or substances that touch the skin. A reaction can come from all sorts of things including:
- Menstrual products – all the more reason to use a menstrual cup!
- Laundry detergent
- Femine wipes and hygiene products
- Scented lotions, bath products, and other toiletries
Although they’re not very common, another cause of vaginal pimples is called Bartholin cysts. This is when glands on either side of the vagina become blocked, inflamed, and pus starts to collect.
How to Treat a Pimple on Vaginal Lip
As tempting as it is, please don’t pick your pimple! Or any other mystery bump on your labia (or anywhere on your skin for that matter). Now that we’ve got that out of the way, before you treat a vaginal pimple, you’ll want to make sure that’s actually what it is. You can read the next section to find out more. If it really is a pimple, you’ll want to figure out the cause and eliminate it if possible. That includes an irritating hair removal technique or products that your skin might be sensitive to. Vaginal pimples typically clear up on their own but remember they can get worse or you can get new ones if you pop or pick them. If you frequently get pimples on your vulva, your healthcare provider may recommend acne medications or antihistamines to help treat allergies.
Strange Bumps: What Else Could it Be?
If you have a pimple-like bump pop up on your labia, you might have any number of ideas going through your head of what it could be. It’s totally normal to feel nervous, so we’re here to help ease your nerves by giving you some insight into what else it could be. One of the most common concerns with a pimple-like bump near the vagina is a sexually transmitted infection, STI. Genital herpes and genital warts can both sometimes resemble pimples. Genital warts are caused by human papillomavirus, or HPV, and tend to look more like flortes than pimples. Genital herpes on the other hand, is caused by the herpes simplex virus. You may experience flu-like symptoms at the onset of infection. You stay infected with the virus for life, but symptoms can come and go. Remember that STIs are a part of biology and nothing to be ashamed of, but it’s important to get tested for them if you have symptoms or after you have sex with a new partner. Another potential cause is a viral infection called molluscum contagosum, which is a viral infection that can cause growths on the body, including in the vaginal or genital area.
If you have a mystery bump pop up on your labia or vulva and it doesn’t clear up fast or it comes with other symptoms, it’s important to get it checked out by your healthcare provider like a gynecologist. You should also see your provider if you have a bump that is painful or large, or get them regularly. Not only can they help give you tools to clear it up, they can diagnose if anything else is going on.
Natasha (she/they) is a full spectrum doula, reproductive health content creator, and sexual wellness consultant. Her work focuses on deconstructing the shame, stigma, and barriers people carry around birth, sex, and beyond, to help people navigate through their lives with more pleasure, softness, and sensuality. You can connect with Natasha on IG @spectrumoflovedoula.