The appearance of lumps on the labia can give women many sleepless nights as they fret about the possible causes and severity of the condition. It may bring some relief to women, to know that most of these lumps are just manifestations of other diseases or indicative of a possible infection, rather than being a serious medical condition itself.
However, they may indicate the presence of a sexually transmitted disease which is quite serious in itself.
Labia are a part of external female genitalia with very thin and delicate skin. The outer lips of the vagina are called labia majora whereas, the inner lips are known as labia minora.
Top 6 Causes of Lumps on Labia
Acne and Contact Dermatitis
Acne and contact dermatitis may cause pimples or small lumps to appear on the labia. This may be a result of an allergic reaction or a clogged hair follicle. You should never try to pop the pimple or treat the lump on your own.
It may subside on its own or your physician may recommend some antibiotic or a topical medication for the lump. At times, hot compresses are also advised to reduce inflammation. Identifying and discontinuing the use of a possible allergen can prevent flare-ups in the future.
An STD infection with Human Papilloma virus can lead to the formation of painless pinkish or white lumps on the labia. These lumps may go away with time without causing any discomfort or with the use of podopfilox lotion/gel or laser treatments. At times, minor surgery is also performed to remove these warts.
A herpes infection in the genital area may manifest itself in the form of soft lumps on the labia. These lumps are usually painful and cause a lot of itching in the affected area. In most of the cases, the lumps resulting from genital herpes appear as groups of small painful blisters.
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After a few days, these blisters burst, resulting in shallow and sore ulcers. This is followed by gradual healing and disappearance of the lumps without leaving any scar.
Since there is no definite cure for the herpes infection at the moment, the lumps are usually controlled with the use of anaesthetic ointments. You can take painkillers like paracetamol to reduce the pain and apply ice packs to the affected area to reduce the inflammation and burning sensation.
A sebaceous cyst results from the blockage of a hair follicle or a sweat gland on the labia. It is usually painless and goes away without medication. However, if the cyst continues to grow in size or becomes infected, it may need medical attention and at times, your physician may even advise surgical excision.
Oral antibiotics are usually prescribed for an infected cyst. Warm compression of the area with a heating pad may also provide some relief and promote drainage.
A bartholin cyst is a pus filled cyst present at the vaginal entrance. An infected bartholin cyst may lead to some degree of tenderness and a painful sensation in the affected area. Doctors generally prescribe antibiotic treatment for an infected cyst.
For recurrent bartholin cysts, marsupialization is performed to create a permanent opening for drainage of the cysts. This is a surgical procedure which involves making an incision on the cyst and stitching the edges of the incision. Warm baths and warm towel compresses also ease the pain due to a bartholin cyst.
Ingrown hairs can lead to painful red lumps which are primarily caused due to improper or aggressive hair removal. A sharp razor can cut the hair very short and close to the skin. The tip of the hair can then pierce the skin and grow inwardly.
These ingrown hairs can cause considerable itching and tenderness in the affected area. The ingrown hair may heal on its own or require treatment in the form of topically applied antibiotics and creams or chemical depilatories. Surgical excision may also be performed to get rid of these lumps.
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