Why do I have pimples on my vagina? We ask an expert.

Alrighty – let’s get into it, shall we? Here are the most common causes of vagina pimples:

1. Folliculitis.

According to our experts, the most common bump on the vagina is folliculitis (ingrown hairs). 

“Folliculitis and ingrown hairs are common in those that shave or wax, usually causing small red bumps, often with a visible trapped hair and sometimes a yellow head,” said Dr McDonald.

It’s pretty similar to a pimple, meaning there’s some sort of infection at the base of a hair follicle. “An ingrown hair will usually be where pubic hair grows outside of the labia,” said Dr Stamatopoulos. 

“Ingrown hairs can be painful, irritated and red. It may get worse in pain over time and increase in size,” she adds.


2. Hidradenitis suppurativa.

If it doesn’t look like folliculitis or ingrown hairs, Dr McDonald said there’s a chance it could be something called hidradenitis suppurativa (HS). 

Sounds 100 per cent scary, but it’s basically a skin condition that develops when the hair follicle is blocked – most commonly, near the sweat glands.

Great. How do I know if I have HS?

Dr McDonald said this condition is usually characterised by “larger cysts, boils and abscesses in the groin region” – so it’s not your average pimpy.

“Also known as acne inversa (reverse acne), HS is a chronic, inflammatory autoimmune skin disease that causes persistent or recurrent boil-like lumps and abscesses that may, in more severe cases, progress to continuous discharge, sinuses, and scarring,” explains McDonald.

The cause of HS isn’t exactly clear, and while there are treatments that can help manage the condition, there is no exact cure. Sad face.

“Hidradenitis suppurativa is under-diagnosed and has a significant psychological impact, and many patients suffer from anxiety, depression, and impairment of body image,” said Dr McDonald.

How can I get rid of vagina pimples?

If you have pimples on your vagina, chances are you want to get rid of them, yes? Cool.

“If ingrown hairs seem to be the problem, then use of regular moisturiser and a gentle salicylic-based cream or wash may be helpful, but care must be taken to avoid irritation of sensitive genital skin,” suggests Dr McDonald.

So, yeah – you can use the same kinds of products you use to tackle pimples on your face – just be super careful not to go too hard. 

If you’re forever rocking folliculitis and ingrown hairs, you should maybe suss out an alternative to shaving or waxing. 

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