Apart from vaginal itching, vaginal infection, and vaginal herpes vaginal boil is also a very common problem of the intimate region.Vagina is one of the most delicate regions of a woman’s body. Being lazy about proper vaginal hygiene and care can result in problems such as vaginal boils. In order to deal with it, you should know more about this condition.
Health Shots got in touch with Dr Astha Dayal, Obstetrics and Gynecologist, CK Birla Hospital, Gurugram, to discuss all about vaginal boils. According to Dr Dayal, “A vaginal boil (also called a skin abscess) is a painful, pus-filled lump that develops under the skin in your pubic area. This usually happens when the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus (commonly called staph) infects the sacs that contain your hair roots and oil glands (hair follicles).”
What causes vaginal boils?
Vaginal boils develop when bacteria infect hair follicles. The infection kills the skin tissue, and dead skin tissue and pus fill the area. In most areas of the body, it is the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, a staph infection, that causes boils. But in the genital area, various bacteria like Enterobacteriaceae and Enterococci cause it.
Apart from that, being overweight or obese can increase your risk of developing vaginal boils. In fact, poor intimate hygiene, wearing tight fittings, and close contact with someone who has had a boil are also some of the causes of vaginal boils.
Know the symptoms of vaginal boils
Vaginal boils initially appear as small pimples, especially after using a razor. Gradually, they grow larger and can become extremely painful. Also, if they are not treated on time, they turn into vaginal infections. If you have one, you may experience these symptoms:
- Swollen, red lump deep in the skin
- Experiencing unbearable pain when touched
- A painful spot with white or yellow pus
- Fever and swollen lymph nodes
- Vaginal boils may initially be small, like a pea but can become larger over time
If you have more than one vaginal boil, this is called carbuncle. This happens when groups of boils are clustered together to form an area of infection. In such a situation, you may feel tired and weak and may also have fever.
How to get rid of vaginal boils?
Do not try to squeeze or pop the boil, as this may spread the bacteria to other parts of the skin. To treat it at home, follow these tips:
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1. Warm compress
To treat vaginal boils at home, use a warm compress. Heating the infected area with a warm and moist compress helps increase blood circulation and draw the pus to the surface, encouraging the boil to drain. It may take some days to treat it, so keep using heat for 3-4 days at least. Also, do not put so much pressure while applying it.
2. Over-the-counter medicine will help
Some over-the-counter ointments and anti-inflammatory medication can be used to draw out the pus. However, it is very important to take your doctor’s advice before using any of it. You can also use antibacterial soap to warm the area.
Also read: 9 red flags for your vaginal health
3. Keep it clean, dry and covered
The affected area requires attention and care to protect it from further infections. Avoid touching that area repeatedly, especially with dirty hands and fingers. This will reduce the risk of spreading bacteria. Make sure your vagina is clean and dry. If you are on your period, change sanitary pads after 4-6 hours; otherwise, it can increase the risk of bacteria.
4. Wear loose and soft clothes
Wear loose bottoms while the vaginal boil heals. Wearing tight-fitting clothes can cause rubbing and irritation to the area, which can worsen vaginal boil conditions. Do not forget to change undergarments after a workout to keep the area dry and clean.
Also read: 5 must-have intimate hygiene essentials for women
5. Don’t blow it
Avoid applying pressure to the boil to burst it or forcefully extracting pus from it. Doing this may remove the bacteria, but it can spread the infection. This may cause you to experience unbearable vaginal pain and make the condition worse.
How to prevent vaginal boils?
To prevent vaginal boils, keep these tips in mind:
- Do not share personal items such as razors, towels, or linens with others, and avoid using things that have been used by others.
- Shower regularly, and do not wear clothes until the water has completely dried.
- Wash your hands with soap and water before touching your pubic area.
- Wearing loose clothing to prevent friction on the skin may also help.
Keep these tips in mind to treat vaginal boils at home!