The Girls' Growing Up in the Lord

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I have these bumps on my vagina, but they don't seem to be irritated; though it itches around my vagina but not in it. I'm afraid that it might be a disease. Also, does touching yourself give you an infection? If you shave your vagina, does it leave bumps on it after?

Kamani (age 13)


The difficulty with bumps is that there can be a large number of causes. To narrow down the possibilities, doctors look for a number of things:

  • Color: Are the bumps the same color as the surrounding skin, are they red, or some are paler than the rest of the skin.
  • Size: Are they pin pricks or up to pencil eraser size?
  • Shape: Some bumps look like domes, some have flat tops, some are level with the surface of the skin so you can't feel them, some might actually indent the skin.
  • Texture: Are they smooth or rough surfaced?
  • Number: Are there a few or a lot?
  • Distribution: Do they cover a wide area or are they clumped near each other. Is there distance between the bumps or is one right next to the other?
  • Exposure: What have you done recently that might lead to a cause of bumps?
  • Itching: Does the area itch or not.
  • Heat: Does the area feel hot or not.

A doctor takes a look at all these things and then tries to match them up with possibilities. She then starts with the most common causes and tries to treat them.

Shaving can cause skin irritations and bumps. After all, you are sliding a sharp blade across the surface of your skin. It will make numerous small nicks and scraps, most too small to see. Since the vulva (the outer area that covers the vagina -- the actual vagina is completely inside of you) is kept covered most of the time, the skin stays more moist than most of the rest of your body. There are numerous germs and fungi that love moist areas. Most of the time they cause no problems, but give them an opening and they might blossom. Itching is generally a sign that something has settled into the surface of your skin that doesn't belong.

While you told me some important clues, there isn't enough for me to say for certain what it might be. You can try a few things first to see if you can get the cause taken care of. If it doesn't go away in a few days, then you will need to see a doctor so that she can give you a more specific treatment. The most likely is a fungus, so a spray or cream used to treat jock itch might take care of the problem. If it starts feeling better, follow the instructions completely. Too often people only treat the problem until they start feeling better but they don't get rid of it completely and it comes back. If this doesn't work, you can try an antibiotic ointment for several days. If neither works, see your doctor.