Mid-thirties lady starting to get 1-2 zits per month on ladyparts
August 12, 2014 6:46 AM   Subscribe

I'm a lady in my mid-thirties starting to get 1-2 zits/month on my ladyparts. The are small, red and painful and eventually come to a head. The white sebum is spherical and hard, unlike any zits I've ever had before. NSFW, I assume.

The zits are on my labia majora. I almost always have to extract them myself. I know that is not the recommended treatment, but otherwise they defy hot compresses and hot baths, etc. They are hard and minorly painful to the touch. When I manage to get them out, I feel instantaneous relief.

I already wear cotton undergarments, am ridiculously healthy (lots of fruits and greens, work out) and do everything else recommended online. No habit changes. But, any ideas why I'm getting these super hard zits and how else to deal with them other than hot compresses (which don't work for me) and minor surgery?
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (13 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Do you shave? Are they ingrown hairs? Could be an aborted hair follicle gone bad.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 6:54 AM on August 12, 2014 [4 favorites]

Have you had a doctor check you for molloscum?

Rather, have you had a doctor investigate at all?

If the answer is no, time to make an appointment.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:03 AM on August 12, 2014 [2 favorites]

This is definitely a "go see a doctor" scenario and STOP self-extracting. The chances of getting an infection are huge and that is one hell of an unpleasant infection.
posted by kinetic at 7:05 AM on August 12, 2014 [6 favorites]

Even if you don't shave you can get ingrown hairs and sebaceous cysts, which is what this sounds like to me. It would be good to mention to your doctor sooner than later, but I wouldn't panic and run to her office.
posted by elsietheeel at 7:20 AM on August 12, 2014

Yeah, these sound exactly like ingrown hairs. See the wikipedia picture for reference and for comparison.

As a very hirsute fellow, since puberty I've gotten several of these monthly on various areas of my body, but more frequently around my butt and my inner thighs. They're always relatively hard, whitish and with a red corona, and they occur on areas of high friction. Have you taken up cycling, running, skiing, or maybe just a slight redistribution of muscle/fat around your thighs?

The only solution I've found to reduce their frequency is to wax or otherwise remove the hair before they happen. Maybe you could consider electrolysis on the area?
posted by Mons Veneris at 7:22 AM on August 12, 2014

Molluscum are not painful, although they can be irritating. The rest of your description is in line with molluscum, however.

See a doctor. Any time something seems funny with your genitals, see a doctor.

I can report that I started getting pimples down there in my 30s, probably from hormonal changes. I've seen GYNs about it a few times and they've always been respectful and told me I did the right thing by coming in.

I've also had molluscum (not on my genitals) and there are several treatment options. If it is molluscum, all the more reason to stop popping - it's a virus and the open wounds and hard, waxy stuff that you extract can cause the virus to spread.
posted by sockermom at 7:25 AM on August 12, 2014 [2 favorites]

Sounds like boils. They are painful, common in the groin and can recur. Definitely go and see the doctor if this is an ongoing thing because there are preventative options.
(I believe I've had exactly the same thing twice. The first time I went to the doctor thinking I had herpes and didn't care about anything beyond 'not herpes' and the second time I just let it do its painful thing. If they were a common thing I'd definitely go and see what could be done.)
posted by Trivia Newton John at 7:45 AM on August 12, 2014

If you shave or wax, stop.
posted by Jacqueline at 7:46 AM on August 12, 2014

I had this once and my doctors recommended I take bleach baths (not at scary as they sound) monthly.
posted by c'mon sea legs at 7:53 AM on August 12, 2014

When I get ingrown hairs they are painful but it is generally very easy to tell if they are ingrown because there is a hair in the middle of it. Allowing the hair to escape (popping) is relieving kind of like removing a splinter.
posted by AlexiaSky at 8:13 AM on August 12, 2014

Going to have to disagree with the idea of molluscum if what you describe about these is accurate. Molluscum are not red, not painful, and don't contain pus. Folliculitis/boil/furuncles could be consistent with this description. Definitely see a doctor. Doing home drainage of pus-filled skin lesions isn't recommended - better if you can prevent them from happening.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 8:51 AM on August 12, 2014 [8 favorites]

Nthing the recommendation to talk to your doctor. I have something similar - in my case, they are sebaceous cysts. I have cystic acne elsewhere, though, so it's unsurprising. My doc recommended hot compresses (which work sometimes but not always) and, rather unfortunately, _time_. Mine usually go away on their own - or burst on their own - ater a few days.
posted by okayokayigive at 10:48 AM on August 12, 2014

Use Tend Skin on your ladyparts. I also think it's ingrown hairs as I'm guessing you shave.

Problem solved.
posted by superfille at 11:24 PM on August 12, 2014

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