Pimples on genitals can be worrying and unsightly. What causes them, are they dangerous and what should you do?
Acne Pimples In The Genital Area
A common cause of pimples in the genital area is acne. Just as acne can form on the face, back and chest, it can form here too. This type of pimple can be caused by sebum from the sebaceous glands blocking a follicle in the skin, which is also the cause of most pimples on the face. It may also be caused by an ingrown hair that has become infected. You may see this happening on your legs and arms too from time to time.
For treatment, just wash the area regularly. Wearing loose underwear made of natural fibers like cotton will help the area to stay cool, so that sweat does not add to the problem of pimples on genitals.
Acne is not dangerous wherever you get it, but you should see your doctor to be sure that the cause really is acne and not something more serious.
Genital warts will generally last much longer than acne pimples. They can be round and smooth, either pink or white in color, or they can have a rough surface like the head of a cauliflower. Genital warts are usually sexually transmitted, although warts on other parts of the body are not. You are unlikely to have genital warts if you have not been sexually active.
Warts are caused by Human papillomavirus or HPV. There are many different strains of this virus. Some have no symptoms and some produce warts in different areas of the body. A very large number of people are believed to be infected with some form of HPV (up to 80% of Americans, at some time in their lives) but often, they do not have symptoms. Whether warts form or not may depend on the person’s general health.
HPV has been linked with cervical cancer in women. It is important for women to have pap smears at regular intervals to identify any warts or precancerous cells internally. Girls are now being vaccinated against some strains of HPV to reduce the incidence of cervical cancer.
More rarely, HPV related cancer can form in the anus of either men or women, or on the penis for men. So if you think you have genital warts or have had them in the past, tell your doctor.
The Herpes simplex virus produces sores in the genital area. These sores are like blisters and can be mistaken for acne pimples. However, there are often additional symptoms such as itching, or the sores may be painful.
This virus is related to the virus that causes fever blisters or cold sores around the mouth, although it is not the same strain. Like genital warts, genital herpes is usually sexually transmitted, and the sores will tend to appear any time that your immune system is running on low.
A visit to the doctor’s office is important if you have any of these problems. Pimples on genitals can cause a lot of anxiety and it is important to know exactly what you have.