Any type of discomfort “down there” is never pleasant. This is why the appearance of vaginal boils is a truly unwelcome sight. A vaginal boil, also known as a vulvar boil, is a pus-filled, inflammatory bump that forms beneath the vaginal skin. These boils appear outside the vagina, in the pubic area, or on the labia. Although these boils are commonly referred to as vaginal boils, they may also be called vulvar boils as the vulva refers to the visible genitalia, which includes the vagina.
While some vaginal boils heal on their own, others may require medical attention to eliminate them and prevent them from getting infected. Treatment can help relieve discomfort and stop the infection from spreading until the boil is gone. Continue reading to learn more about vaginal boils, including what causes them and how to treat them. Keep scrolling!
What Is A Vaginal Boil?
A vaginal boil is a pus-filled bump that can occur anywhere in the vulvar area, including the pubic region, the labia, and the exterior of the vagina. It occurs when a hair follicle in that area gets infected. The boil may begin as a little red bump and grow into a swollen, painful boil with a white or yellow pus-filled tip over a few days (1). However, in some cases, this boil can appear as small as a pimple.
A majority of these boils go away on their own in a few days or weeks (1). However, if you have a spot on the area around your vagina (vulva) and are not sure if it is a boil or something else, consult your doctor or gynecologist right away. They will check for certain signs and symptoms to determine if it is a vaginal boil. Learn more about them in the next section.
Signs And Symptoms Of Vaginal Boils
The most common symptoms associated with vaginal boils include (1):
- Swollen, red lump that goes deep into the skin.
- Itching or irritation.
- Painful to touch.
- White or yellow pus-filled bumps.
- May ooze clear fluid or develop a crust.
- Swollen lymph nodes.
It is extremely important to understand what is causing your vaginal boils to treat them the right way. The most common causes are listed of this condition are listed in the next section. Check them out.
Causes Of Vaginal Boils
From wearing tight clothes to STDs to insect bites, a wide range of factors can cause vaginal boils. Let’s learn more about them.
Folliculitis is a skin disorder caused by bacteria infecting the pubic hair follicles. This infection is most commonly caused by waxing, grooming, and shaving in the pubic area (2). If left untreated, the bumps become uncomfortable and eventually grow into boils.
People who have a history of obesity and diabetes with prolonged use of oral antibiotics and are immunosuppressed are at risk of developing folliculitis (2).
2. Wearing Tight-Fitting Clothes
Wearing tight-fitting clothes in the pubic area is one of the most common causes of vaginal boils. Clothing can produce unwanted friction on the skin, leading to the formation of boils on your private parts. Boils on the vaginal lip can also be caused by poor genital hygiene, such as wearing dirty underwear or not changing your underwear frequently.
Cysts can also cause vaginal boils. A Bartholin gland cyst, for example, is caused by an infection in the Bartholin glands, which are positioned beneath the vaginal skin near the opening. These glands secrete a fluid that aids the lubrication of the vagina. When these glands become infected, their openings become clogged, causing fluid to accumulate beneath the vaginal skin (3). This accumulation can result in a tiny bump near the vaginal opening that can turn into a boil.
4. Other Common Causes
Apart from the causes listed above, there are certain practices and health conditions that may cause vaginal boils. These include:
- Insect bites and other injuries to the skin.
- Sexually transmitted infections.
- Genital piercings.
- Diseases that weaken the immune system, like diabetes.
- Obesity (which may cause boils between the folds of your skin).
- Sitting in one spot for a long time.
Most vaginal boils can be managed at home without medical attention. Learn what you need to do for at-home treatment in the next section.
How To Get Rid Of Vaginal Boils
- Maintain proper hygiene. Use soap and water to clean the vaginal area. Before and after touching the affected area, wash your hands thoroughly to prevent the spread of infection.
- Apply a warm compress to the affected area for 10-15 minutes. This will increase blood circulation, draw the pus to the surface, and stimulate the boil to drain.
- Keep the area clean and dry.
- Use a sitz bath to clean the vaginal area.
- Wear comfortable and breathable undergarments to prevent rubbing and irritation in the genital area.
- Do not squeeze, pop, or pick at the boil. This can lead to more pain and spread the infection.
- If the boil bursts, apply antibiotic ointment to avoid infection.
- When the boil starts to drain, clean it and cover it with a loose bandage.
- If necessary, take an over-the-counter painkiller to relieve discomfort.
If these home remedies for vaginal boils do not alleviate your symptoms, see a gynecologist for a more aggressive treatment plan. In these circumstances, it is critical to identify the source of the boil in the pubic area and treat it appropriately. Scroll down to learn how healthcare practitioners diagnose vaginal boils.
How To Diagnose Vaginal Boils
Your healthcare practitioner will diagnose a vaginal boil in your pubic area after a physical assessment. This should be painless and take only a few minutes. A boil will usually go away on its own without the need for medical attention. However, you may need to get the boil drained by a physician, or they may prescribe an antibiotic if the infection is severe or causes a lot of pain.
There is no guarantee that you will never get vaginal boils again. However, the pointers listed in the next section will undoubtedly assist you in preventing this condition. Check them out!
- Wash your genital area with an antibacterial soap to avoid bacteria from building up and causing infection.
- Change your undergarments frequently and maintain healthy vaginal hygiene. Try to wear natural fiber underwear made of fabrics like silk or cotton.
- Wash your hands thoroughly, specifically before and after touching your genitals.
- Exfoliate your pubic area gently before shaving to clear any clogged hair follicles and reduce the risk of ingrown hairs. More significantly, exfoliation will prevent your razor from getting clogged with dead skin cells, which usually renders shaving ineffective. You can exfoliate the area by using a gentle scrub or a loofah.
- To avoid disturbing your vulva’s normal pH, use gentle products. Highly fragrant cleansers, douches, creams, baby wipes, powders, and topical ointments should be avoided since they can irritate the vaginal tissues.
- If you shave your pubic area, replace your razor blades every 3-4 weeks. When you don’t change your razor or blades on a regular basis, you risk getting ingrown hairs and vaginal boils from a dull razor.
- If your doctor prescribes antibiotics to treat your infection, be sure you take them all and complete the treatment to avoid subsequent infection.
- Under no circumstances should you share your razor or use someone else’s razor. Keep your razor clean and dry at all times. Personal items, such as underwear and towels, should not be shared either.
- If you are overweight, losing weight may be beneficial because bacteria can thrive in skin folds and creases.
It is natural to be concerned when you notice a spot or boil in your vaginal area. If you are unsure about a strange growth on your vaginal wall, seeing a gynecologist may help you figure out what’s going on. After all, the key to getting the right treatment for vaginal boils is proper diagnosis.
When To See A Doctor
Vaginal boils may take one to two weeks to heal. The majority of cases are self-resolving. However, if you detect certain signs and symptoms, you should consult a doctor immediately. These include (1):
- Fever, chills, or swollen lymph nodes.
- Extreme pain and discomfort in the affected area.
- A rapidly growing boil.
- A boil that does not go away on its own in 1-2 weeks.
- A recurring boil or multiple boils.
- A bump that is larger than two inches.
- The boil does not seem any better after several days of at-home treatment.
In such circumstances, the doctor may prescribe antibiotics and, if necessary, lance and drain the boil safely to aid in the removal of the infection.
Infographic: Healthy Hygiene Practices To Get Rid Of Vaginal Boils
Maintaining proper hygiene is the best way to relieve vaginal boils. Along with ointments and other medications, it is necessary to practice healthy cleaning habits. But what sort of hygiene habits should you follow? We answer the same in the infographic below. Take a look.
The Final Takeaway
You must be aware that the vulva is a delicate region of a woman’s body and that any improper treatment can aggravate the condition. Therefore, you must exercise utmost caution when treating a vaginal boil or any other vaginal condition. You should avoid using anything that could irritate your skin or cause further harm. If the home remedies recommended in this article don’t work and your vaginal boil has not gone away after two weeks, you should seek medical help. Schedule an appointment ASAP and get it treated immediately!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it normal to have boils in your private area?
It is quite common to get boils near your vagina. This is because bacteria can easily infect a hair follicle. However, the majority of vaginal boils are self-treatable.
Are boils caused by being dirty?
Bacteria that infiltrate the skin and infect a hair follicle cause boils in the vaginal area. The best strategy to avoid reoccurring boils is to keep your genital area clean and practice proper hygiene.
Why are boils so painful?
A red, painful, pus-filled boil can grow under the vaginal skin when bacteria infect a hair follicle or an oil gland. The pressure that is exerted as a boil grows larger causes extreme pain.
How long can a boil last?
Vaginal boils may heal on their own after a period of itching and slight pain. However, they often become more painful as pus builds up. These boils usually drain and heal themselves within two weeks.
What happens if a boil is left untreated?
Boils that are not treated may enlarge or join together to form a massive multi-headed boil (carbuncle). As a result, a skin infection can spread to the bloodstream and, in rare cases, cause significant illness (1).
- A vaginal boil is a pus-filled bump that can appear anywhere in the vaginal opening, the pubic area, the labia, and the vaginal exterior.
- It occurs when a hair follicle gets infected.
- Wear comfortable, breathable underwear and maintain adequate hygiene to treat and prevent these boils.
- It may take one to two weeks for vaginal boils to heal. However, you must consult a doctor right away if you notice symptoms like fever, chills, and extreme pain.
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- Boils and carbuncles: Overview
- Bartholin Gland Cyst