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Question:

Why do I have acne inside my vagina (and I am not sexually active)?

EXPERT ANSWER

Vaginas and labia are sort of weird that way. They are made up of all sorts of glands that keep the area moist and sometimes those glands get backed up and it can look like acne. It’s not the same thing as acne other places on your body but it can cause a sort of lumpy appearance to things. The good news is you just leave these bumps alone (don’t try popping it like a pimple) and they usually go away on their own over time. If they are really hurting, that’s different and you should see your healthcare provider. If you shave or wax, you are more likely to get these sorts of bumps because the hair actually keeps the glands busy so they can’t get backed up as easily. I’m not saying you need to go “natural” if you don’t like that, but know that the two are associated.

MOM ANSWER

Acne on your vagina doesn’t have to have anything to do with sexual activity.  All of your skin has pores, and all pores can turn into pimples (acne). Especially if you’re waxing or shaving.

If the bumps are very painful, or they are actually inside of your vagina (inside your body), you should have them looked at by your healthcare provider.

PEER ANSWER
Your vagina is a sensitive area! Sexually active or not, sores, bumps or rashes on the inside of your vagina should be looked at by a healthcare professional. I’m sure it’s more than a little intimidating having such an issue without having had sex, but these things do not necessarily mean an STD. If you’re talking about acne on the vulva or labia, this isn’t uncommon, and it may just clear up on its own. I also think you should see what our Health Expert Dr. Molly has to say about this.

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This is not intended to be medical advice. Everybody is different so please make sure to consult your physician if you're having issues. Do not delay or refrain from seeking professional medical advice from your physician because of something you have read on this site.