Skin conditions that affect the genitalia occur rarely on healthy human bodies. But when they do occur, they are troublesome and quite alarming. When it happens, we tend to consider simple solutions along with the more complicated and more worrisome ones. For example, when one spots genital lumps, acne is among the first conditions that would come to mind. One thinks that perhaps a few stray zits appeared in that normally non-zit prone part of the body, and would soon disappear as long as that part is kept clean.
There is something one must get out of the way at the onset: when it comes to genital lumps, acne is not the culprit. In fact, there is no such thing as “genital acne.” What looks like acne is not actually acne, but may be one of a number of other conditions.
Most often, the condition to be blamed is hidradenitis suppurativa – a blockage of pores that results in folliculitis, or a sort of inflammation that resembles pimples. This takes place when a person perspires heavily, then the sweat is trapped within the pores of the skin, thanks to tight and restrictive clothing.
Just because hidradentis suppurativa produces lumps that resemble pimples, they are not actually pimples. Acne is a hormonal condition that makes the body produce extra sebum, which then gets trapped inside the pores of the skin and causes tiny lumps to appear.
Acne lumps could take different forms; they could be pustules, papules and comedones. Pustules are soft, dome-shaped, pus-filled lesions that may have a strand of hair growing at the center. Papules are tiny lesions (5 mm or less) that are harder to the touch. Comedones are more commonly known as blackheads or whiteheads.
In its more severe forms, acne may become manifest as nodules or cysts. Nodules are irregularly-shaped, solid lesions that may be quite painful, and are known to leave scars. Cysts are sac-like growths that are larger than pustules and are often inflamed.
The lumps that form on the genital area may simply be soft and painful, but if the condition is hidradenitis suppurativa, they should not be filled with pus. The genital lumps “acne” are filled only with water that is trapped within the pores. One can avoid experiencing them by making it a point to wear clothing and underwear that are not too tight. Allowing the skin to breathe more would also help in the healing process, if one already has this condition. Even if this skin affliction could be quite uncomfortable, it is nonetheless temporary and non-contagious.
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