Vaginal Pimples: Causes, Treatment and Prevention

Fact Checked Medically reviewed by Tanja Premru-Sršen


What Are Vaginal Pimples?

The private area is one of the most sensitive and vulnerable areas on our body, and it is no wonder why this area sometimes develops pimples and acne.

Vaginal acne and vaginal pimples are often not severe conditions, but they can be somewhat problematic and uncomfortable to deal with and live with. They can also be a source of shame and insecurity for many.

Are Vaginal Pimples Normal?

Yes, having some pimples on your vagina and the intimate area is completely normal and rather common amongst many women.

The vaginal area has hair follicles that are prone to buildup, as well as very active sweat glands, just like any other of your body and your skin. Therefore, just like pimples can develop on your butt, back, and face, they can also develop on your vagina from time to time.

However, having a painful and unmanageable acne situation in your private area can be a reason to seek medical care and medical advice.

What Are the Causes for Vaginal Pimples?

Several different things could be behind the issue you are having with vaginal pimples in your private area. However, some of the most common causes behind vaginal pimples are:

Contact dermatitis

The majority of vaginal pimples in the form of small bumps in the genital area that most women deal with tend to be caused by contact dermatitis. Contact dermatitis is the skin’s reaction to something that touches and irritates it.

Contact dermatitis of the private area is often caused by close contact and skin’s sensitivity to:

  • Scented soaps and bubble baths
  • Feminine wipes, powders, perfumes, deodorants, douches, and lotions
  • Tampons and pads
  • Spermicides, condoms, and lubricants
  • Some kinds of over-the-counter topical medications
  • Dryer sheets or laundry detergents

Some other factors that can also irritate your skin and cause the formation of pimples include:

  • Perspiration
  • Urine
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Semen

Molluscum contagiosum

A viral infection under the name of molluscum contagiosum can cause pimples to appear anywhere on the body, the private area included. Treatment for molluscum contagiosum is not always necessary, but molluscum contagiosum can be treated by physical removal with cryotherapy, curettage or laser therapy. It can also be treated with topical or oral medication.


Pimples in the genital can also be caused by the infection of the hair follicle that develops due to the bacteria that is stuck in that area. One major potential cause of folliculitis is shaving your private area with a razor.

After it has been shaved, the hair curls back toward the skin as it starts growing again, which causes irritation. In some cases, the hair gets stuck in the skin but continues growing, which is how we get an ingrown hair. The roughness of a dull razor on already sensitive skin can also cause the following:

  • blisters
  • pimples
  • razor burn
  • bumps

Can You Pop Vaginal Pimples?

Apart from being in your intimate area, vaginal pimples are not that much different from other pimples on your body, which means no popping, no matter how tempting it is! The best idea is to stay away from popping a vaginal pimple.

Popping a vaginal pimple can spread bacteria and pus to the rest of the intimate area, which can lead to infection and skin irritation. It can also lead to more pimples developing on the external skin, which creates an endless cycle of popping the old pimples and new pimples developing right away.

Another reason to stay away from popping the vaginal pimples is the fact that this area is rather sensitive and can be very easily irritated, which is why you are very likely to make an already painful situation even worse.

How To Get Rid of Vaginal Pimples?

The vaginal pimples are treated by finding and then avoiding/directly treating the cause. In case your vaginal pimples are caused by contact dermatitis, topical medications can treat them.

The key is to find and then avoid the irritant that is causing contact dermatitis, and therefore vaginal pimples, in the first place. If the allergy is severe, antihistamines can be used to treat it.

Pimples that are caused by ingrown hairs tend to clear up on their own. Therefore, the treatment for molluscum contagiosum is not always needed, as previously mentioned, but your doctor can prescribe a topical or oral medication it does not clear up on its own.

When To See a Doctor About Vaginal Pimples?

Pimples that are caused by a minor irritation tend to clear up on their own after a few days. If they do not get better, or if they get worse, make sure to see your doctor.

If your pimples are itching, bleeding, or oozing pus, make sure to visit your doctor and get treatment for it. You should also visit your doctor if you notice any big, painful, and unusual growths in your private area.

What Else Could It Be?

There are some conditions and growths that look like pimples, but they are actually not pimples. Some of those conditions include:

Genital warts

Genital warts are pimple-like bumps that can sometimes be mistaken for pimples, as they are relatively similar in appearance. You can have a single wart or a cluster of genital warts. Genital warts are caused by the outbreak of HPV (the human papillomavirus), a common sexually transmitted infection that can be treated.

Genital herpes

Lesions of genital herpes can sometimes look like pimples and red bumps or skin colored genital bumps. Genital herpes can appear around the vagina, vulva, anus, outer lips, and inner lips. Genital herpes requires immediate care from a medical professional.

Bartholin’s cyst

Bartholin’s cyst tends to occur by one side of the opening of the vagina, on the outside. Bartholin’s cyst can clear up within a few days on its own. However, if they do not go away or become painful, make sure to schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider. Large Bartholin’s cysts can be drained by a professional.

Skin tags

Skin tags are small flaps of tissue and skin that appear due to friction, and they pose absolutely no threat to your health and well-being. However, skin tags in the private area can become irritating to deal with, and most women choose to have them removed by their doctor.

Prevention For Vaginal Pimples

Just like with any other health-related issue, the best way to solve it is to prevent it from ever happening in the first place. Luckily, there are some (minor) changes you can make in your lifestyle in order to prevent vaginal pimples from appearing again, or at least as often.

Once you identify the cause, avoid coming into contact with the irritant. To help prevent future irritation in the vaginal area, you should:

  • Avoid tight clothing that can cause friction and therefore cause pimples in the vaginal area. The biggest enemy is jeans that are too tight in the private area.
  • Pick underwear that is made of cotton rather than synthetic materials. Try wearing cotton underwear as often as you can. Cotton is a natural, breathable material that will not trap sweat close to your skin.
  • Avoid touching the already developed pimples in your vaginal and private area.
  • Avoid using very hot water to shower.
  • Avoid taking very hot baths.
  • Use unscented soap and laundry detergent.
  • Avoid taking any bubble bath and avoid using scented soaps in your private and intimate area.
  • Advise your medical care provider regarding which menstrual products are safe to use.

Vaginal Pimples and Shaving

It is a known fact that shaving your pubic hair with a razor can irritate the skin, which can cause pimples, acne, and ingrown hairs on any part of the body, vulva included. Shaving your vaginal area can also cause hair follicles to become ingrown and inflamed, causing a secondary infection.

If you are struggling with pimples that refuse to go away as well as ingrown hairs, you might want to ditch the razor for a while and see if the situation with your pubic hair and ingrown hair improves.

You can still trim your pubic hair using small scissors. Consider laser hair removal as a long-term solution for your pubic hair and genital pimples caused by shaving.

If not shaving is not an option for you, make sure to go with the angle of your hair in a downward slant when using a razor to shave your public hair.