Vaginal acne is real and no, it isn't something new. It's always been there, but never discussed extensively. It's a very hush-hush subject that needs to be brought to light. In the case of vaginal acne, most of us are living with it and don't really know what to do. Before we suggest ways to deal with vaginal acne, let's talk about how acne got down there in the first place!
There are two types of acne that can be found in the pubic area - folliculitis and pseudofolliculitis. Folliculitis is the inflammation of a hair follicle, while pseudofolliculitis is the inflammation of an ingrown hair. Both the bumps are red in colour (sometimes pus-filled) and are scattered all over the pubic region. Although they look the same, the cause for each type of acne is different. Like folliculitis is caused by a viral or bacterial infection and pseudofolliculitis is created by irritation from waxing, shaving, constant rubbing and ingrown hair. However, acne in the vagina opening is quite uncommon and if you have them, your gynaecologist needs to take a look at it, pronto.
If it's folliculitis you're dealing with, you need to wash the area well and avoid wearing damp underwear. Moisture attracts bacteria and so do unhygienic environments. After a shower, make sure you towel-dry the pubic area and wear panties made from soft, breathable materials like cotton and linen. To avoid dead skin build-up, you should exfoliate the area once a week using a mild body scrub.
Precautions to take to avoid pseudofolliculitis - always shave in the direction of hair growth and never against it. Avoid using a dull razor blade as that can further irritate the skin. A new razor or an electric one will guarantee a smooth shave. If you're dealing with pseudofolliculitis acne then you can soothe the area by washing it with antibacterial soap or applying a mild topical corticosteroid cream or body lotion. It's best if you consult a doctor for this condition.
If you're looking for a long-term solution, opt for laser hair removal of the bikini area. This way, you won't have to shave or wax often. Thus, making the area acne-free! Keep the area moisturised and allow the cream to absorb into the skin for a minute before you wear your clothes. This method should keep the area smooth and the acne at bay.
If still none of these methods work, then you may have to pay both, your dermatologist and gynaecologist, a visit. They'll be able to evaluate the situation better and nurse your skin back to health.
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