Bumps and pimples on the vagina (and the groin area) are common. They may appear inside or near the vaginal area.
- The causes can range from STDs to less serious problems such as shave bumps.
- When painful, vaginal pimples can make you uncomfortable especially during intercourse.
- Yeast infections, herpes and some STDs can cause pimple-like bumps (sores) on the inner and outer lips of the vagina.
What should you do to get rid of pubic bumps and sore lumps?
Can you get pimples on your vagina?
- Can you get pimples on your vagina?
- What causes bumps on vagina?
- How to Get Rid of Pimples on Vagina
- Sources and references
Is it normal to get pimples on your vag? The outer part of your vagina has a normal skin. Since the skin has sweat pores, it is possible for dirt, oil and sweat to accumulate in the pores and get infected.
When the pores get infected, pimples and acne-like bumps will form on your pubic area.
Vaginal bumps can occur on different parts of the vaginal area. You can get a pimple on labia lips, i.e. labia majora and labia minora, and the vulva area.
There are some vaginal bumps that are normal while others are not. Below are pictures of labia pimples, causes, remedies and treatments.
It is highly advised that you see a doctor if you get any unusual vaginal symptoms such as foul smelling discharge and zits.
The appearance of the vaginal lip pimples will depend on the cause. Normal pimples will look like acne zits.
Vaginal sores and boils from herpes may appear as raw and itchy. If they are caused by Fordyce spots, they may appear as small white dots on vagina lips.
Here are pictures to help you identify your symptoms.
What causes bumps on vagina?
Pimples on the vulva, labia lips and vagina are like other pimples on the body. In most cases though, they are very painful and can cause a lot of discomfort.
Vaginal itching and irritation may result from breakouts in the female genital area.
The causes include herpes, some STDs, vaginal cysts and even (though rarely) cancer.
Yeast infections and shaving bumps (also ingrown hair) can also result into pimple-like bumps on the outer vagina.
Cysts are very common. They appear small tender lumps, usually on the vulva or vag lips. Different types of cysts occur as a result of blocked glands in the skin.
Vulvar cysts can be small in size or big enough to cause discomfort.
- The Bartholin glands are two organs found in the vaginal area. They form on both sides of labia or vaginal folds.
- Bartholin cysts lubricate the vaginal opening through Bartholin ducts.
- “If a Bartholin duct gets blocked, fluid builds up in the gland. The blocked gland is called a Bartholin gland cyst” [WebMD].
- Vaginal cysts and bumps can be small or big, ranging from a pea size to the size of a marble.
When these cysts on the vulva get infected, you end up with an abscess. Usually, the swelling on the gland is painless and will go away on its own. But when infected, it may become a pus-filled bump on vagina. This will require treatment and draining.
Another type of cyst that appears as a pimple-like bump on the vag is the Skene’s duct cyst. This kind of cyst forms on either side of the urethra and are also caused by a blocked duct.
Generally, the symptoms of cysts causing pimples on the vagina include the following:
- Redness and swelling in the vulva area
- A painless lump or bump on the outer vulva region.
- Discomfort during sex, sitting and even walking.
- An infected cyst will start to drain or ooze.
According to the National Health Service, Vaginal cysts can go away without treatment. Pain management medications can help with infected pimples on vagina that hurt.
2. Clogged hair follicles
Pimples on the female genital area could be a result of blocked hair follicles. This condition is also called folliculitis.
It is the inflammation of hair follicles resulting in an infection inside the pore. The vaginal area – labia majora and labia minora folds have hair.
When the pores of these hair follicles become clogged and irritated by sweat, dead skin cells, and bacteria, an infection develops.
As a result, “Tiny pus-filled spots (pustules) develop at the base of a hair… The affected hair follicles swell into small pus-filled pimples. Each individual pimple looks like a small, rounded, yellow-red spot.” [Patient.info].
3. Ingrown hair bump from shaving
Another most common cause of bikini bumps is ingrown hair. If you keep getting pimples on vaginal lips and vulva after shaving or waxing, then the cause is most likely the shaving technique.
Swollen ingrown pubic hairs can easily look like genital herpes, boils or even warts.
- Ingrown hair results from shaved hair that curls and grows back into the skin.
- As the follicle causes irritation, an inflamed spot forms.
- Ingrown hair on vagina can be itchy, red and when infected, appear as yellow pimples on labia minora and labia majora.
“An ingrown hair is likely to cause an itchy feeling because it irritates the skin. As the hair curls back into the skin on the female genitals, a visible raised bump emerges. The bump will look like a pimple and will be itchy.”
Do not confuse ingrown vaginal hairs with genital warts.
According to Mayo Clinic, “Gental warts in women usually grow on the vulva and vaginal walls. Sometimes, the skin between the anus and the external areas of the female genitalia, the cervix and the anal canal can also be affected.”
4. Yeast infections bumps
Vaginal yeast infections affect women due to bacterial imbalances in the vagina. Women who are on heavy antibiotics frequently suffer from yeast infections or candida.
Some of the symptoms of vaginal yeast infections include:
- Yeast infection pimples and bump on the outer vaginal area.
- Swelling and irritation on the labia lips.
- A white discharge, sometimes a yellow discharge.
- An itchy vagina with redness or an itchy pimple on labia area or vaginal lips.
Sometimes, a vaginal rash can easily lead to small bumps inside vagina. The difference between a candida rash in women and herpes is that STD sores easily rapture and ooze. They may look like popped pimples on vagina.
According to MedicineNet, “Yeast infections are very common and affect up to 75% of women at some point in their lifetime.”
5. Genital Warts or HPV
Tender bumps on the vagina, vulva and labia lips could also be a sign of the human papilloma virus (HPV). The virus lives in mucous membranes such as those even in the genital area.
Genital warts in men and women may appear as soft, raised, pink or flat. Mostly, the bumps are flesh-colored and take the shape of a cauliflower.
- HPV bumps can grow on the vulva area, anus, cervix, anus and groin.
- Some types of HPV or genital warts are associated with vulval cancer, anal cancer and cervical cancer.
An infection with the HPV virus can cause small or even large warts to form on the vulva skin.
When they start to form, the warts may appear as a small pimple on labia majora, labia minora or just small lumps in the genital area. See pictures of genital warts below.
HPV infections have no cure. However, the virus clears on its own. There are vaccines that are given to prevent the infection. These include Gardasil, Gardasil-9 and Cervarix.
6. STDs and Herpes
Other than genital warts, the herpes simplex virus can also cause genital herpes. Herpes is a sexually transmitted disease (STD).
It may or may not show symptoms. The herpes simplex virus (HSV-1 or HSV-2) can cause genital herpes. Symptoms include:
- Painful red pimples or bumps on the vagina.
- The bumps burst after a few days to leave oozing sores around the vagina or vulva, inner thighs and buttocks.
- The small fluid-filled pimples and blisters may be accompanied by vaginal discharge.
- Pain when passing urine.
The blisters or sores can last up to 20 days as they undergo the stages of cold sores to heal.
7. Fordyce spots on labia lips
Fordyce spots are small white spots, usually raised, on the skin. They can appear as white spots on lips and mouth.
Fordyce granules form on areas of the skin with sebaceous glands. In males, Fordyce spots can appear on the testicles or penile head.
In women they can form as white bumps on vagina and labia lips. It is easy to suspect that they are caused by an STD. Note the following about labial fordyce spots.
- They are harmless and may not require medical attention or treatment.
- Fordyce spots on the vagina appear as clusters of small round white pimples on and near the labia minora and majora.
- Small white spots on the genital area caused by Fordyce glands do not hurt or cause pain of any sort. They are only an esthetic problem.
The inner labia and outer labia, or labia folds or flaps may be affected with Fordyce spots. These may have a pimple-like appearance, making it easy for you to think they are an infection of some sort.
8. Cancer lumps
Cancer on the skin can easily start as small lumps that recur or won’t go away. Most of them are itchy and may keep growing bigger.
If you have a big bump that keeps getting bigger on the genital area, it might be a sign of cancer. Symptoms of vaginal cancer include the following:
- lump in your vagina
- itchy bumps or pimple that keep getting bigger and won’t heal
- bleeding pimples and bumps
- pain during sex
- smelly or bloody vaginal discharge
- pain when urinating
- needing to urinate more frequently than usual
- blood in your urine
- pelvic pain
A big spot that keeps growing, is pink and itchy is quite a source of worry. However, having these symptoms does not necessarily mean you have vaginal cancer or cervical cancer. Consult with your doctor for proper investigation and early treatment if necessary.
A urinary tract infection can cause a pimple-like rash on vagina. It is highly unlikely to get acne from UTIs.
However, in rare cases, according to GirlsHealth.gov, a red rash outside the vaginal lips may accompany a UTI infection. This is mostly a result of skin irritation and burning when you pee.
If you experience itchy or burning pimples on vagina as a result of a UTI, do not try to treat yourself with OTC medications. Most women think they have yeast infections or UTIs with symptoms such as pimples, rashes, itchy vulva etc. when they are actually suffering from a different infection. See your doctor instead.
10. Hormonal pimples
Most women, especially those prone to hormonal acne may get pimples in the pubic area during and after period.
These bikini pimples or pubic bumps in women are caused by hormonal changes in the body during these times. Pregnancy and menstruation bring about hormonal surges and fluctuations.
“When a woman’s androgen receptors are particularly sensitive, these hormones can trigger excess oil production and cause skin cells to become sticky, leading to clogged pores and breakouts.” – Dr. Bowe on Health.com.
During these times, sebaceous glands secrete more sebum or oil. As the skin pores get clogged with oil and dirt, raised spots emerge.
You may get small hormonal pimples on other parts of the body, such as the chin, face, breasts and buttocks.
Hormonal therapy is commonly the best treatment for hormonal acne pimples. It involves the use of birth control to balance hormone levels and counter the effects of its excesses.
Other treatment options involve eating healthy and including healthy bacteria in your diet. An example is eating yogurt.
11. Swollen lymph node in groin
A swollen lymph node in the bikini area or groin can also be confused for a sore pimple. An infection in the groin area, mostly bacterial or viral can cause lymph nodes on the groin to swell. They may cause discomfort and pain in inguinal (groin) lymph nodes.
When on the inner thighs, some people may feel like they have pimples on their pubic or genital area.
A painful pimple that hurts on the vagina could be a sign of an infection. In this case, it may trigger the pain and swelling or inflammation of the lymph nodes.
Can you get vaginal sores from STDs? While you can get bumps on labia that are not herpes or some fungal infections, it is also common to get breakouts due to sexually transmitted diseases.
HIV, vaginal thrush and gonorrhea can also produce similar symptoms such as pus-filled bumps on the vag.
- Genital herpes and some STDs may appear as small red pimples or bumps in females and males as well.
- Due to friction and temperature, the bumps may rapture and bleed or ooze a clear fluid.
If you suspect you have pus-filled bumps due to an STD, see a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Other causes of pimples and bumps include postpartum scars and allergic reactions.
How to Get Rid of Pimples on Vagina
Pimples on the vaginal area and lips can disappear on their own. Home remedies can help get rid of them faster and relieve their symptoms.
When they won’t go away or come with severe symptoms, you need to see a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Treatments and medications may include antibiotics, antiviral and antifungal medicines.
Your doctor can also resort to minor surgical procedures such as incision, excision and drainage if the pimples are too big and cause discomfort. Here’s how to treat and get rid of vaginal bumps.
Drainage of vaginal cysts
Simple care measures can get rid of pimples on vagina, labia and labia. However, when infected and fluid-filled, cysts in the genital area may need drainage. Antibiotic treatment may also be prescribed to heal the infection.
- Bartholin cyst abscess may be drained surgically. The doctor may use a drainage tube and a balloon to keep it open and prevent pus from accumulating further.
- Cysts and pimples that won’t go away or won’t heal may be treated with a carbon dioxide laser. Silver nitrate may also be used to treat and prevent cysts and bumps that keep coming back.
If there is pain, your doctor may prescribe pain killers such as ibuprofen. These will relieve pain. A sitz bath can also help with the healing process.
During this time, avoid sex to prevent bruising the cyst and slowing down the healing process.
Pimples on the vagina, labia lips and vulva with yellow or green pus are most likely infected. Bacterial activity in the pore as well as that of white blood cells cause inflammation. The result is a small raised yellow bump.
- Treatment can involve the use of topical antibacterial medications, ointments or creams.
- If the infection is serious, your doctor may prescribe oral antibiotics.
Ingrown hair removal
If the vaginal zits are caused by razor burn bumps and ingrown hair, removing them can help get rid of the pimples.
Deep ingrown hairs on the vagina can be difficult to remove. If they keep coming back, a treatment can help resolve the problem for good. Here’s how to remove ingrown hair bumps on vag lips.
- Clean the skin in the pubic area and especially around the bump.
- Take a long warm bath or shower to open up the pores. This will make the vag bump easier to pop.
- Use a sterilized pin to pop the ingrown hair pimple so that you can see the embedded hair.
- Grab the ingrown hair using sterilized tweezers and pull out its head. Do not pull out the entire head.
- Apply antibacterial cream or a little diluted hydrogen peroxide to disinfect the area.
Steroid creams are also used to treat ingrown hairs. They will help reduce itchiness and irritation on embedded hairs and razor bumps on vagina.
If the problem in chronic, it is advisable that you avoid waxing and shaving the bikini area to prevent ingrown hair bumps.
Both over-the-counter medications and prescription drugs are available for treating yeast infections.
OTC anti-fungal creams and ointments can easily get rid of the Candida albicans fungus that causes the bumps on vagina. Tablets and suppositories are also available. The medications include:
Home remedies may include eating yogurt to restore the healthy bacteria in the vaginal area. However, such remedies are only recommended if you have a mild yeast infection. For serious or severe outbreaks, see your doctor.
Anti-viral treatments are used to get rid of vaginal area bumps caused by genital herpes. The most common anti-viral medications are famciclovir and valaciclovir.
The treatments do not get rid of the virus forever. The virus stays in the body, but in an inactive form.
Severe cases of genital herpes are treated with intravenous administration of drugs such as acyclovir.
Note that these treatments reduce the severity of symptoms, or may prevent recurrence of the outbreaks of vaginal sores in the future.