Let’s face it – nobody wants to admit that genital acne exists, and we surely don’t want anyone to know if we have it! But genital acne can be treated and managed with some fairly easy steps.
What is genital acne?
Much like the acne we experience on our face, back, shoulders and chest, genital acne is the result of the skin’s pores becoming plugged and eventually erupting into acne lesions. With your face, it’s the sebaceous glands that are the culprit, and with genital acne, it is the apocrine glands. The result is acne-like pimples and bumps that appear in the genital area.
How can you tell if it is genital acne and not something else?
You may be concerned that you actually have something other than genital acne – perhaps an STD like herpes or genital warts. This is possible if you are sexually active, and the only way to know for sure it to have your doctor examine you. Yes, this is uncomfortable and a bit embarrassing, but it’s much better to be certain. Once you have had an exam, and you are sure it is genital acne; you can find a way to treat it.
What causes genital acne?
The causes of genital acne or any type of acne come from within the body and can be aggravated by what happens at the skin surface. With genital acne, the apocrine glands are sometimes not fully developed and able to effectively rid themselves of “toxins”, so they end up pushing the backed up materials to the skin’s surface where they produce pimples. Other possible causes may be as simple as the laundry detergent you use, or the soap you use or wearing clothes that are too tight. The constant rubbing of tight clothes can really irritate that delicate skin! Perspiration is often the cause of genital acne, so it’s important to shower after exercising or doing other activities that cause lots of sweating.
How is genital acne treated?
Once you’ve determined that what you have is genital acne, you can start with simple steps to see if they take care of the problem.
- Switch to a laundry soap that has no perfumes or additives. You can even try a laundry detergent that is made for baby clothes (and delicate skin).
- Switch your body soap or body wash to soap that is unscented and as pure as possible.
- Change out of sweaty clothes and shower as quickly as you can after exercise or other physical activity that causes you to sweat.
- Don’t wear overly tight underwear and pants. Loosen things up a bit!
- Don’t squeeze or pop the pimples! This only serves to make things worse by spreading the bacteria around and aggravating the skin.
- Be patient – it may take a month or two before you see results.
- If you cannot relieve your genital acne symptoms by using these steps, you should immediately consult with your doctor.
Genital acne is embarrassing and rather mortifying. Who knew you could get it “down there”? But you can, and if you have genital acne, rest assured you’re not alone. It is usually very easy to treat. Make sure you discuss any concerns you have with your doctor.