By Medical Author: Dr. Karthik Kumar, MBBS
By Medical Reviewer: Shaziya Allarakha
Bumps on the pubic area may be caused by various factors. These include unsafe shaving techniques, infections, and skin conditions such as psoriasis or eczema. Sometimes, a home remedy, over the counter (OTC) cream or simple lifestyle changes can help you manage itching. However, you should talk to your doctor if itching and bumps don’t diminish, or you suspect an underlying medical condition might be causing your symptoms.
What are the possible causes of bumps in the pubic area?
It is important to monitor your genital health because bumps appearing on or around the pubic area could be indicative of a condition that requires medical attention, such as an infection. Spotting them as soon as they occur is ideal, so you can seek appropriate medical attention when necessary. Possible causes may include
Contact dermatitis: A type of eczema caused by skin-to-skin contact with an allergen or irritant.
Folliculitis: An infection and swelling of the hair follicles from which hair grows.
Acne inversa or hidradenitis suppurativa: A potentially severe skin disease that affects the sweat glands in the groin and is characterized by recurrent pimple-like bumps and sores that contain pus. The sores do not heal easily and can leave scars.
Molluscum contagiosum: A viral infection in the pubic area. Growths, called mollusca, are usually small, raised and white or flesh-colored. They can be pearly in appearance and have a dimple at their center.
Psoriasis: A potentially severe autoimmune condition that causes thick, scaly patches on the skin. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, inverse psoriasis is a severe type that usually affects the pubic area.
Genital herpes: Caused by herpes simplex virus (HSV). It can lead to lesions that are painful or itchy, and can be transmitted to others even when not visible.
Genital warts: Caused by the human papilloma virus, or HPV. They are flesh-colored, soft bumps, and sometimes look like cauliflower. While they may be itchy, they don’t hurt. Warts can sometimes go away without treatment, or your doctor can treat them. HPV is a very common virus, so common that nearly all sexually active people are expected to get it at least once in their lifetimes.
Apart from the above, other sexually transmitted infections, bacteria and yeast may be responsible for bumps on the pubic area.
Occasional bumps in the pubic area are somewhat common, often with fairly innocuous causes. Although these bumps are not typically painful, they might cause pain or bleeding when they grow too large, in addition to increasing the risk of infection. As such, anyone who develops bumps should see a doctor to ensure that they are not at risk for a serious condition. You must see your doctor if your bumps:
Have a foul-smelling or unusual discharge
Are painful for you
Do not go away or keep coming back
Are associated with fever
Most bumps on the pubic area probably don’t need treatment. Doctors may only treat the bumps for pain and other symptoms, like infection, or recommend steps to take care of the wound.
However, testing for sexually transmitted infection is usually needed. Pimples or bumps around the pubic area are very common, but are often very uncomfortable and irritating. In the majority of cases, these bumps are not a cause for concern. Treatment of bumps on the pubic area depends on the cause of the bumps.
Keep note of the occurrence of pimples or bumps, along with any products, activities or other factors that may affect the genital area, including shaving.
Avoid using any scented/perfumed products that may come in contact with the genital area, including laundry detergents, soaps, lotions, or powders. If this reduces occurrence, you may reintroduce slowly, being careful to notice any adverse reactions that may arise.
Gently wash the area daily with warm water and mild, unperfumed soap, or non-soap cleanser.
Avoid using any other cleaning products that could affect your pH balance, which can lead to infection.
Make sure to pat the area dry before you get dressed to prevent any bacterial or fungal growth.
Sometimes, a warm compress applied to the area that’s irritated or itching can help. Simply soak a small towel in warm water and squeeze it out before placing it on the skin. This treatment can be repeated several times daily.
Benzoyl peroxide may help treat public bumps. Medicated body wash with benzoyl peroxide can be helpful. People with sensitive skin should opt for a product with five percent or less benzoyl peroxide to prevent irritation. These washes can be used as maintenance before shaving.
Bumps due to sexually transmitted diseases may require antibiotic, antifungal or antiviral pills or injections. You should see a doctor for a diagnosis and to receive these treatments, and not attempt to self-treat.
You may need an injection or ointment to apply to bumps or ulcers caused by inflammatory conditions.
Dermatologists may recommend cortisone injections for severe or large bumps.
Doctors may give antihistamines to control itching.
Doctors may treat with topical medications (including antibacterial, antifungal, or antiviral topical creams/ointments and steroid creams/ointments).
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