Vaginal pimples are similar in appearance to pimples in other areas of the body. Treatment includes proper hygiene, heat therapy, and medication.

Pimples around the female genital area are common. A variety of factors can cause these bumps. They may be uncomfortable and irritating, but in most cases, they are not serious.

For example, vaginal pimples may be painful or painless, burning, red or the color of surrounding skin, pus-filled, in clusters or alone, itchy, or of various sizes.

This article covers the common causes of vaginal pimples, their treatment, and methods to prevent future breakouts.

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It is not always clear what causes vaginal pimples. However, some of the more common causes include:

Contact dermatitis

Contact dermatitis is a type of eczema caused by skin contact with an allergen or an irritant. Many cases of vaginal pimples are contact dermatitis in the genital area.

Common irritants and allergens contributing to vaginal pimples include:

  • douches
  • hygiene products, such as lotions, powders, deodorants, and sprays
  • fragranced soaps and shower washes
  • laundry detergents
  • medicated lotions or gels
  • personal lubricants, spermicides, or condoms
  • perspiration
  • pads or tampons, especially scented
  • semen
  • urine


Another very common cause of vaginal pimples is folliculitis. This condition is an infection and inflammation of the hair follicles.

A follicle is a small skin cavity from which hair grows. Each hair on the body grows out of its own follicle.

Folliculitis can result from:

  • shaving
  • ingrown hairs
  • wearing tight clothing or clothing that rubs the skin
  • follicles that become blocked or irritated by sweat or personal care products
  • using an unclean hot tub or swimming pool
  • an infected cut or wound, perhaps from shaving, which lets bacteria spread to nearby hair follicles

Acne inversa

Also called hidradenitis suppurativa, acne inversa is a chronic inflammatory skin disease that affects the sweat glands in the groin and under the breasts.

Acne inversa causes recurrent spots and sores that contain pus. These do not heal easily and can leave scars.

According to the Hidradenitis Suppurativa Foundation, this disease affects up to 1–2% of the population.

Molluscum contagiosum

Molluscum contagiosum is a viral infection that causes lesions that can occur anywhere on the body, including the vaginal area.

The growths, called Mollusca, are usually small, raised, and white or the color of surrounding skin. They can be pearly in appearance and have a dimple at their center.

This condition usually clears up within 6–12 months but can take up to 4 years.

Vaginal pimples can often clear on their own. If not, treatment options include:

Determining the cause

The first step to deciding the correct treatment is to uncover the cause of the pimples.

A person can track the occurrence of vaginal pimples and any products, activities, or other factors that may affect the genital area, including shaving and hot tub usage.

It can also be helpful to avoid all products that are in contact with the genital area, including laundry detergents, for some time. Once symptoms subside, a person can slowly reintroduce these products, one at a time, and note any adverse reactions.

Remove irritants

Once the cause of the irritation or infection has been identified, stop using the product or doing the activity.

For example, if shaving causes the pimples, a person can reduce irritation by using a new blade and shaving in the direction of the hair growth. Never dry shave.

It is important to keep hot tubs clean, only use properly treated pools, and shower afterward. Also, avoid using oils on the skin. These can trap bacteria in the follicles.

Maintain good hygiene

The warmth and moisture in the genital area make it an ideal location for bacteria and other microorganisms to thrive.

Wash the area daily with warm water and mild, unperfumed soap. Avoid using harsh cleaning products inside the vagina. These products can affect the pH balance, which can lead to infection.

Choose cotton underwear and avoid fabrics that trap heat and moisture. Opt for loose, comfortable clothing that allows the skin to breathe. Always change clothing after exercise.

Regularly change tampons or pads during menstruation. Menstrual cups are a convenient and hygienic alternative to tampons.

Avoid squeezing vaginal pimples

Squeezing or popping vaginal pimples can cause further pain and irritation.

The risk of spreading bacteria and causing infection increases, and the pimples may grow in number and severity. Wait for a pimple to naturally rupture or seek medical treatment.

Heat therapy

To address itching and pain, try treating the area with a warm compress.

Simply soak a small towel in warm water and squeeze out the water before placing the towel on the skin. This treatment can be repeated several times daily.

Always dry the area thoroughly before dressing to inhibit bacterial growth.


Talk with a doctor about medication for vaginal pimples.

If contact dermatitis is the root cause, a doctor may recommend topical medications or antihistamines.

Topical or oral antibiotics can treat bacterial infections.

Early diagnosis and treatment are advised for acne inversa to manage symptoms.

Molluscum contagiosum often clears without treatment, but a doctor may prescribe medication for persistent cases.

Several other conditions and factors can lead to bumps similar to vaginal pimples. These include:

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

Two common STIs can cause bumps around the vagina. These are genital warts and genital herpes:

Genital warts

Genital warts are small, flesh-colored lumps. They may have a cauliflower-like appearance. Genital warts are more common among females. The human papillomavirus (HPV) causes them.

Treatment is not necessary if the warts are not uncomfortable. However, medications or surgery can manage outbreaks, although further outbreaks may occur because there is no way to eliminate HPV from the body.

People can consider getting the HPV vaccine before being sexually active to help prevent genital warts.

Genital herpes

The herpes simplex virus (HSV) causes genital herpes. It can lead to painful or itchy spots. Because the virus can lie dormant in the body, genital herpes can be transmitted even if there are no visible spots or sores.

Similarly to genital warts, the virus cannot be removed from the body once present. However, medication can reduce symptoms and flare-ups, and lower the risk of transmitting the virus to sexual partners.

Using condoms can reduce the chance of contracting genital herpes.

Bartholin cysts

Bartholin glands are located on each side of the vagina. Sometimes, they can become blocked, leading to the formation of cysts.

Bartholin cysts are usually painless and do not require treatment. However, if infected, they become inflamed and fill with pus. Medical interventions, such as antibiotics, are needed when this occurs.

If cysts are reoccurring, a person can talk with a doctor about home remedies.

Skin tags

Skin tags are small growths or flaps of excess tissue on the skin. They are not serious, but some people may wish to have them removed for cosmetic reasons or because they cause irritation.

Vaginal varicosities

Vaginal varicosities are swollen veins, much as hemorrhoids are around the anus. They appear around the vulva and the vagina and usually look blue.

Vaginal varicosities can occur as females age. They may be tender or bleed. Cool compresses can reduce discomfort.

People can talk with a doctor about treatment if it is needed. A person may consider surgical or laser removal for cosmetic reasons. The bumps may go away on their own as well.

Below are some commonly asked questions about vaginal pimples.

How do I get rid of a vaginal pimple?

It is best to speak with a doctor about how to get rid of a vaginal pimple. They can determine the cause of the pimple and appropriate treatment.

Depending on the cause, treatment may involve stopping the use of certain products, applying a warm compress, or taking medication.

What can cause bumps on your private area?

Bumps on a person’s private area could potentially develop from:

  • contact dermatitis
  • folliculitis
  • acne inversa
  • molluscum contagiosum
  • genital warts
  • genital herpes
  • Bartholin cysts
  • skin tags
  • vaginal varicosities

There are many possible causes of vaginal pimples. Most causes are not serious.

Most cases of vaginal pimples clear on their own or with home treatment. Lifestyle strategies, including changes to personal hygiene routines, may prevent future outbreaks.

A person can seek medical advice if the cause of the vaginal pimples is unknown, they persist, or they get worse.

A doctor can determine the cause of the pimple and recommend the right treatment.

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