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Vaginal boils can be painful! 7 tips to treat them

Vaginal boils are a painful condition that may cause a lot of discomfort, even when you walk or sit. Here’s how to treat vaginal boils.
View All Images vaginal boils
Vaginal boils can be painful! Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Aayushi Gupta Published: 22 Mar 2024, 20:30 pm IST
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Vaginal itching, infections, and herpes are common concerns for women. Another issue to be aware of is vaginal boils. This condition causes painful, pus-filled lumps resulting from bacterial infections, often Staphylococcus aureus. While generally not alarming, these can cause significant discomfort and grow in size. Resembling pimples, these boils can evolve into painful and bothersome bumps. Read on to learn all about vaginal boils and how to treat them.

What causes vaginal boils?

Vaginal boils can be uncomfortable and painful. Here are 9 common causes of it:

1. Poor hygiene

If you are not maintaining proper hygiene down there, it can increase your risk of developing an infection that can result in the problem.

2. Ingrown hair

Ingrown hair occurs when hair grows back into the skin instead of out of it. This can lead to inflammation and infection, resulting in boils. Ingrown hair is generally caused by waxing, shaving, and other methods of hair removal.

3. Weak immune system

“Individuals with weakened immune system, due to health conditions like diabetes or HIV/AIDS, are more susceptible to bacterial infections, which can lead to vaginal boils,” explains Obstetrician and Gynaecologist Dr Madhuri Burande Laha.

stomach flu
A weak immune system may increase your risk of vaginal boils! Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

4. Blocked sweat glands

Sweat glands can become blocked, trapping sweat and bacteria beneath the skin’s surface. This creates an environment conducive to bacterial growth and vaginal boils.

5. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

Certain sexually transmitted infections, such as herpes or human papillomavirus (HPV), can cause lesions or sores in the genital area, which may become infected and form boils.

Also read: 5 conditions that may raise a false alarm for genital herpes

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6. Friction or trauma

“Friction from clothing or sexual activity, as well as trauma to the vaginal area, can create microtears in the skin, allowing bacteria to enter the body and causing boils,” says Dr Laha. Wearing dirty and sweaty undergarments can also cause boils.

7. Acne

Any insect bite or acne around the vaginal area can also lead to vaginal boils.

8. Being overweight

Being overweight or obese can contribute to increased friction and moisture in the genital area. The sweaty area is prone to developing vaginal boils.

9. Close contact with an infected person

Close contact with someone who has a boil can increase your risk of transmission of the bacteria to the vaginal area. This can lead to infection and the development of boils in the affected individual.

What are the symptoms of vaginal boils?

Vaginal boils can cause inflammation, pain, and the formation of pus-filled lumps around the vaginal area. Initially, they may appear as red, tender bumps, resembling pimples. As they progress, they can grow larger and become more painful. Here are its common symptoms:

  • Swollen, red lump
  • Painful to touch
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Itching around the boil
  • Pain and discomfort when sitting and walking
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
Vaginal itching
Vaginal boils may cause pain. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

Diagnosis of vaginal boils

Diagnosing vaginal boils involves a thorough examination by a healthcare professional. Typically, they assess the size, location, and appearance of the boil, often requiring a pelvic exam.

Treatment of vaginal boils

Here are 7 ways to treat the problem:

1. Warm compress

Applying a warm compress to the affected area helps reduce pain and promotes drainage of the boil. This can be done by soaking a clean cloth in warm water and gently applying it to the boil for about 10-15 minutes several times a day.

2. Keep the area clean and dry

Maintaining good hygiene is essential for preventing further vaginal infection and promoting healing. “Wash the affected area gently with mild soap and water, and pat it dry with a clean towel. Avoid harsh or scented soaps, as they can irritate the skin,” advises Dr Laha.

3. Never squeeze or pop the boils

It’s crucial to resist the urge to squeeze or pop the boil, as this can lead to further infection and complications. Instead, allow the boil to drain naturally or seek medical advice if necessary.

4. Wear loose-fitting clothes

Tight-fitting clothing can cause friction and irritation, exacerbating the discomfort associated with vaginal boils. Opt for loose-fitting, breathable underwear and clothing to promote airflow and prevent further irritation.

5. Maintain vaginal hygiene

Practise good vaginal hygiene by wiping from front to back after using the bathroom to prevent the spread of bacteria. Avoid using harsh douches or feminine hygiene products, as these can disrupt the natural balance of bacteria in the vaginal area.

A woman doing a vaginal self exam
Maintain proper vaginal hygiene to avoid vaginal problems. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

6. Clean if it bursts

“If the boil bursts on its own, gently clean the area with water only and apply an antiseptic cream or ointment to prevent infection,” says Dr Laha.

7. Over-the-counter medication

In some cases, over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen may help alleviate the discomfort associated with vaginal boils. Additionally, topical treatments containing ingredients like benzoyl peroxide or tea tree oil may help reduce inflammation and promote healing.

Additionally, avoid shaving or waxing in the affected area to prevent further irritation and potential infection.

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About the Author

Aayushi Gupta is a health writer with a special interest in trends related to diet, fitness, beauty and intimate health. With around 2 years of experience in the wellness industry, she is connected to leading experts and doctors to provide our readers with factually correct information. ...Read More

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