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Are pimples popping up on your vaginal area? No matter how diligent you are about hygiene, vaginal acne can still show up — and it usually does in the worst possible times, like before you go the beach.
Vaginal acne is caused by the same culprits as acne on the face — excess oil production within the hair follicles. According to dermatologists and ob/gyns, hormonal fluctuations can also cause vaginal pimples, along with ingrown hairs in the genital area, and stress.
One of the most common types of acne that can develop on the pubic area is folliculitis, which is inflammation around the hair follicles, usually caused by shaving. However, it can also occur from wearing tight clothing and ingrown hairs.
Another highly common type of vaginal acne is hidradenitis suppurativa -- large, painful cysts that occur when sweat glands get clogged. These can typically be treated with Accutane or oral antibiotics.
Here are six ways you can get rid of vaginal bumps and zits so you can wear your swimsuit with confidence.
Exfoliating helps to shed dead skin cells and unclog hair follicles, treating and preventing genital breakouts. Opt for a salicylic acid-based cleanser to decongest the area and ward off flareups. Salicylic acid boasts antibacterial properties while helping to buff away the buildup of dead skin, making it the perfect treatment for vaginal pimples. It’s usually found in topical acne treatments and other clarifying skincare products.
Try our 24k Gold Black Soap Impurity Cleanser to keep your pubic area pimple-free. It’s made with exfoliating salicylic acid, anti-inflammatory 24k gold, and antibacterial black soap to lift dead skin, dissolve sebum, and promote a clear coochie.
If the hair removal process is leaving you with razor burn and bumps, try treating the area with a soothing topical treatment like our Cooka Concentrate. Formulated with lavender, tea tree oil, and jojoba oil, this formula cools, soothes, and relieves inflammation. Plus, it softens pubic hair to ensure an extra smooth shave and silky, irritation-free results.
Tea tree oil is an excellent ingredient for clearing up breakouts thanks to its antimicrobial properties. "It also helps to maintain the natural moisture of the skin, providing soothing relief while also balancing oil secretions from the sebaceous glands," says Kecia Gaither, MD, double board-certified ob/gyn in New York.
Apply it to those affected or sensitive areas for quick relief. For best results, use daily until the irritation subsides.
According to celebrity aesthetician Natalie Aguilar, compresses are a great solution to ease inflammation and eliminate some of the pain. “You can, however, hold a warm water compress, followed by an ice-cold water compress,” says Aguilar.
The warm compress will instantly provide relief. Plus, it’ll reduce the swelling in painful bumps and lesions on the vulva and bikini line.
To keep the area nourished and the skin barrier strong, apply a lightweight body cream or lotion to your vaginal region after cleansing. Hydrated skin is strong skin. When skin is properly hydrated, your skin barrier works harder to prevent intruders from harming your skin.
We recommend our Pineapple Haze Sensitive Skin Balm, a formula of pineapple, hemp, and mango to provide instant relief and long-term hydration for dry, distressed skin.
If you suspect those bumps may be allergies, pop an antihistamine and you’ll soon find out. If you’re unsure, speak to a healthcare provider or dermatologist for insight.
Just because it looks like acne doesn’t mean it is acne. It could simply be an allergic reaction to a product — or something else.
Only one or two pimples on your vagina? Patch it up with a pimple patch to zits of oil and impurities, and speed up the healing process.
Our favorite is our Super Heart Pimple Patches. They’re flecked with hydrocolloid and benzoyl peroxide to quickly heal and dry out vaginal pimples — and prevent bacteria from your fingers getting in and making things worse.
Your vaginal acne might not actually be acne. Here’s what else it might be.
Bartholin’s cysts. They typically occur near one side of the vaginal opening. If they don’t clear up within a few days, see your doctor.
Genital herpes. Genital herpes are lesions that can look a lot like pimples. They appear around the vagina, vulva, and anus.
Genital warts. Commonly mistaken for pimples, genital warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), a common sexually transmitted infection (STI) that can easily be treated.
Skin tags. They’re small flaps of tissue that appear in genital area, but can be easily removed.
If you’re still uncertain what the bumps on your vagina may be, visit a women’s health professional or dermatologist for help. You may be dealing with a viral infection, STD, or even a skin condition like contact dermatitis that needs to be appropriately treated.
Here are some ways to stop vaginal breakouts and bumps before they form.
Vaginal pimples aren’t as common as the acne on your face, chest, and back, but it's more common than you’d think. Try the tips above to keep your bikini area bump-free. If none of these work, we recommend visiting your gynecologist for a check-up to ensure everything’s okay down there.
By prioritizing vaginal wellness, you can prevent a lot of nasty infections and diseases. Whenever you’re unsure about something, speak to a professional for guidance.